A little over a week ago, a young man was spotted walking on the side of a Washington highway looking disoriented, lost, and who had no place to call home. This young man, named Jake, is a 19 year old who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Aaron Panagos had been traveling on a stretch of Highway 2 in Monroe when he saw the distraught youth. He decided to call the police when he realized that Jake’s cerebral palsy was so severe that it was difficult to even communicate. Jake did, however, manage to tell Panagos that he was looking for a woman who’d been nice to him and told him about her horses. Jake has a passion for animals, and he stated that horses were non-judgmental compared to people and that is why he preferred to be with them instead.
Paul Henderson, one of the first officers on the scene decided to take Jake to Valley General Hospital, stating that he simply couldn’t take care of himself. He added that Jake did not make a choice to have the condition and that he deserved to get the same, if not better kind of care as other family members.
Henderson as well as fellow officer Derrick Lether have taken it upon themselves to ensure that Jake receives the care that he needs by contacting various agencies who might have the facilities and resources to do so.
Jake is Now Safe in a New Home!
After Jake’s story aired on the local news, a viewer named Nicole (who declined to give her last name) said she couldn’t get to Jake fast enough. As a mother of two children with cerebral palsy, she said “I just can’t imagine a scenario like that,” and “I didn’t want Jake to spend one more day wondering where he was going to be.”
This is one of the best things I’ve ever read, and I hope this loving warrior woman and mother will get the support and help she needs, and has needed!!! She has already been given a gift from these officers who I think feel blessed to have helped!!
I have a sister with cerebral palsy and she also is pure inspiration-and she is 71, another miracle!