When Justin Dyment of Vernon was four months old, he was rushed to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center by the Life Star team. He was suffering from a long seizure and turning blue.
“Justin spent 24 hours in the pediatric intensive care unit,” his mother wrote. “Since that time, Justin was diagnosed with a rare infant seizure disorder, global developmental delays, cortical blindness, cerebral palsy and a severe case of hemochromatosis. He is developmentally that of a 4-6 month old, but such a happy little guy.”
His mother Rebecca relayed Justin’s story on Vernon Patch and on the Mobility Awareness Month website, as part of a contest to win a customized wheelchair accessible vehicle. Anyone can vote for Justin once a day via this link, until May 9.
As of April 17, the Dyment family received 6,289 votes.
Here’s the rest of Justin’s story, as written by his mother:
Justin knows no different and puts a smile on everyone’s face that passes his way.
Justin has three healthy siblings. A 14 year old sister, 4 year old brother and 3 month old sister. My husband and I have always said Justin will always be a part of whatever activities and trips we take as a family despite the challenge of his mobility.
This challenge is becoming very real as he now 44 pounds and difficult to carry. Our family does not have a handicap accessible van which makes travel difficult at times and will only get harder. I struggle with my other children sometimes not being able to participate in certain activities or events, as when my husband is not available, I can hardly lift and transport Justin.
A handicap accessible vehicle is a must for our family and affording one is something we do not know how we will do. My husband quit his job four years ago to stay home with Justin as he has many many specialists and therapies that he is brought to on a weekly basis. This has added financial strain.
Justin is a blessing and has truly changed our lives. No one ever thinks they will have “that child.” Justin has opened our eyes to a whole new world.
Justin has brought us a joy that we never knew existed and has opened his siblings’ and peers’ eyes to be accepting and loving of others differences. We accept our future challenges with open arms with a future of uncertainty with Justin.
Editor's Note: A version of this article originally ran on Vernon Patch on March 27.