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National Mobility Awareness Month Partners:


Zakkary Smith

Moreno Valley, CA

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I am writing to you about my dream for my son Zakkary, in hopes that you may want to have a part in it. Zakkary was a normal, 3 year old, boy who loved to play! Before his near-fatal, car accident on February 4, 2012, he was always in motion. Now ventilator and wheelchair-dependent (with full paralysis, from an injury that caused internal decapitation). After spending 3 and 1/2 months in the hospital, he endured numerous surgeries which included a halo, spinal fusion, tracheostomy and g-tube. Despite the long days spent in the hospital and the countless obstacles presented to him, Zakkary expressed great optimism and demonstrated amazing amounts of strength, showing doctors, he was ready to go home.

Zakkary now at 5 years of age, continues to spend most of his time in and out of hospitals fighting for his life, what we take as a simple cold or flu can be quite challenging for a ventilator dependent person. Through all the hardships Zakkary has been presented with, he is always in the best spirits with a big smile on his face. Even though Zakk’s life will no longer be the same as that of a “normal” 5 year old, his spirit and enthusiasm for life no one can deny. He has an uncanny vibrant spirit for life. He may not be able to physically enjoy activities but he gets happiness and fulfilment by watching others and that is something we can all learn from Zakkary.

He is adventurous at heart and enjoys the outdoors, unfortunately due to unreliable transportation we are limited to travel, a trip to the store can become a challenge as our car might break down and leave us stranded . With all the doctor appointments he has its a risk taken one to many times, never the less we press on and do what has to be done. Will you help us with my dream for a reliable van for Zakkary? He sends us all a message that life is too short and unpredictable to spend time not enjoying every minute of it. Because of this he is a gleam of light and inspiration to those who surround him. Almost every morning when I come into his room he says with such enthusiasm “Good morning Mommy, today is a new day!”