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Emily and Taylor Zysk

Apopka, FL

Entry Photo for Emily and Taylor Zysk - Apopka, FL

In 2002, twins Emily and Taylor Zysk were born prematurely at 27 weeks. They weighed 2.7 lbs and 2.4 lbs and stayed in the NICU at the hospital for 2 1/2 months. They came home with Oxygen tanks and apnea monitors. We did not know what to expect, yet hoped for the best. At 6 months they were diagnosed with developmental delay and began physical, occupational and speech therapy and soon after as they turned 1 year old, they were both diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.

Emily and Taylor have undergone numerous surgeries from saving their eyesight to correcting their growing bones. They learned to walk with walkers at age 2. At age 3 they underwent Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery which helped tremendously. Therapy has been part of their lives since they can remember. Through it all, Emily and Taylor never complain about working hard and giving it their all during therapy and at home while continuing their daily therapy routine.

In 2009, the twins attended a 3 week intensive therapy program and made great progress. Their strength and progress at the end of the program was unbelievable and their positive attitude was something inspiring to us all. They were on their way to an independent life.

In 2011, Emily and Taylor underwent Bilateral Osteotomy surgery to correct their hips and legs. The expected recovery time was 6 months but it has been 2 1/2 years and their recovery has not been full. They lost much of what they had worked so hard for in their short lives. Emily now utilizes a power wheelchair most of the time and continues her physical therapy. Taylor is close to being where she was prior to her surgery but needs her surgery re-done.
Through all this, Emily and Taylor are always full of happiness and gratitude and waiting for their next adventure. They never complain or ask why, but instead are a true inspiration to all those who meet them. They are my heroes and give me the strength to continue fighting for them.

Emily and Taylor attend middle school and are honor roll students in the mainstream curriculum. They are both active in school, participating in extracurricular activities, striving to be the best they can be. They’re avid readers and love to travel and meet new people. Taylor and Emily are looking towards their future in college and dreaming big about their potentials!!!