John Petit Manchester, NH 218 Votes
John Petit, born 27 weeks into my pregnancy at 1lb 5oz and less than a 5% chance of survival back in 1995. John spent 3 1/2 months in the NICU and several weeks in, we were informed that he had a major brain injury called Periventricular leukomalaciait. We were shown brain scans where John had major missing brain matter. John finally came home at 4.5 pounds. We did not find out until John was a toddler how significant his disability really was. Diagnosed severe spastic quadriplegic, cerebral palsy, and wheelchair bound. With his epilepsy he experiences several seizures a day. Throughout the years John’s health has declined. He is now fed through a G/J tube, cannot walk, talk, sit up or assist with his own daily care. Cognitively John is between an infant and 2 years old. He continues to beat the odds and is a strong willed young man who has continued to fight for his life. In 2009 John contracted H1N1 and was read his last rights, we prepared for his passing but once again he beat the odds! The illness has had lasting effects on John’s health status. He requires oxygen and heart monitor at all times. John has had several other close calls since then. In November and again in December John got antibiotic resistant pneumonia which almost took from us again. Last year we said goodbye to our wheelchair van, it was 12 years old and was great over the years but died. John enjoyed state parks, shopping, watching glow bowling with lights. All places he can no longer go without a van. Only doctor visits which transport company takes him. Due to his medical fragility he can no longer attend school and is home bound. Mom and dad are Johns care givers we take care of all his needs without any help. I am disabled and my goal is to keep from ending up in a wheelchair myself. Because John’s too heavy to lift and has osteoporosis, he’s at risk for fracture, so he can’t leave his home without a wheelchair. We don’t know how much longer John will be with us so our goal is to give him the best life we can while he is still here. But he needs this van to have the freedom to come and go again, and this would be priceless. John is our hero!