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October 18th, 2010 began like every other day for Izaiah Wallis. His mother, Lucy Verde, dropped Izaiah off at her parent’s house in Oceanside while she went to work. Just like any other typical day, Grandpa Abraham put little Izaiah, then 18 months old, in the stroller and headed out for a walk to the park. It was only 9am.
At the same time, unbeknownst to them, a 17-year-old high school student, under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, was speeding down the street near their house. The boy, whose blood alcohol level was significantly over the legal limit at 0.21, drove onto the sidewalk. Before anyone could react, he hit Izaiah and Abraham as they walked on the path. Abraham experienced severe bruising and a shattered ankle. The little toddler, now known as “Baby Izaiah,” was thrown from his stroller and suffered traumatic injuries including his skull being internally severed from his spine.
Izaiah’s dad, Jacob, was working at a local bakery at the time of the accident. Lucy’s mother called him at work with the news. “My heart just stopped. I dropped everything and left,” he said. “He’s my little guy. He’s a funny little guy. He smiles all the time. He loves to play sports… we got a little T-ball set up at home.”
But Baby Izaiah’s T-ball game was cut too short…
Following multiple surgeries, there seemed to be little hope for the family. Baby Izaiah remained paralyzed from the chest down, partially blind and unable to eat on his own. Baby Izaiah’s prognosis did not look good. Several months after the accident, doctors Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego told Izaiah’s parents that he would probably remain in a coma and paralyzed for the rest of his life.
Then…fate stepped in and Dr. Steve Ronco was invited to join Izaiah’s team.
Dr. Ronco has worked with Izaiah for almost two years now, beginning the first night Izaiah came home. After experiencing such a traumatic event, Izaiah was exhibiting extremely high stress levels, which would later be calmed with the help of Dr. Ronco. Since that time, Izaiah has worked very hard with Dr. Ronco, showing major improvements in the functioning of his body. Izaiah is now entering a new phase in his treatments and is able to flex and raise his legs on his own, a far cry from being told he would be paralyzed for the rest of his life. Together, Dr. Ronco and Izaiah have made a lot of improvements and there is a lot of hope that the future will be brighter for “Baby Izaiah.”
Please be sure to visit http://www.izaiahwallis.com/ to learn more about Izaiah and his rehabilitation journey.
David A. Moya is a Carmel Valley San Diego community contributor and influencer for positive change. As founder of The Carmel Valley Life he focuses on education, transparency and helping others find a voice for their passion. During his earlier years, he fed his entrepreneurial spirit and founded a company focused on helping kids committed to peak performance. David went on to pay for his BA in Finance through his real estate business and after graduating flew more than 30 flights to over 10 countries in order to master the art of communication and business. Today, he enjoys creating value for his community by leading a movement of responsibility – one of sharing knowledge, stories and a helping hand.