After using a wheelchair for eight years, following a failed surgery to correct hip displacement, an autistic teenager, Brandon Neal, smiled again as he walked for the first time, unaided. Here’s the whole story.
In 2019, the internet was set ablaze after a viral video showing the moment an autistic teenager walked without any assistance for the first time in eight years made the rounds.
In 2011, a 17-year-old teenager named Brandon Neal from North Texas underwent surgery to fix a deformity. Right from childhood, Neal had been faced with a series of health challenges.
When he was six months old, he had jaundice and was extremely underweight. In addition, baby Neal could not sit up, stand, rollover, or make eye contact.
By the time he clocked five, he was diagnosed with an eye condition called strabismus, which required five surgeries to be corrected. While Neal’s family tried to find out the cause of their son’s misery, they potty trained him and got him talking in sentences.
Finally, in 2010, it was discovered that Neal had a genetic gene mutation, and after some x-rays, a doctor found out that the teenager’s right hip was displaced.
The following year, Neal underwent surgery to correct the hip displacement. Although the surgery was successful, and there was hope for Neal to walk again, things worsened months later.
Neal told him that he wanted a girlfriend, but nobody liked him because he could not walk.
The autistic young man was still not walking, despite the doctor’s assurance, and Neal was left with no choice but to use a wheelchair. Eight years after the tragic occurrence, the autistic teenager’s parents were faced with the choice of buying their son a new wheelchair or enrolling him for physical therapy to help him walk again.
The latter was a better option, and Neal was registered with Special Strong. He worked with Daniel Stein from the establishment for three months before the duo decided to try and see if the teenager could walk again.
Stein filmed the heartwarming moment, and it was shared on the official Facebook page of “Special Strong.” Neal could be seen walking and staggering in the footage as Stein applauded and encouraged his baby steps.
A few seconds into the clip, Neal could be heard asking, “Are you proud of me?”A positive response from Mr. Stein followed the sweet question. He replied saying, “I’m so proud of you, man!”
In the caption, Stein said Neal told him that he wanted a girlfriend, but nobody liked him because he could not walk. However, things changed for good. Neal finally went back to school and walked independently without a wheelchair, crutches, or a walker.
Neal’s story remains a source of encouragement and inspiration to many people going through tough times. With strong will and determination, anyone can achieve their dreams.