This January, a man with CP turned 80 years old, which likely makes him the oldest person alive who has CP. The man lives in Newport, TN. According to an article on WBIR-TV, he has no plans of going to a rest home anytime soon.
The man profiled worked as a bookkeeper. He has lived alone his entire life but, in the article, he did say that it was hard for him to find work at times. Many people with CP have hearing or speech difficulties that tend to make people assume that they must be mentally impaired, even if that is not the case.
This particular man encourages parents who have a child with CP to get that child out of the house as much as possible. Judging by many recent stories, parents do seem to be doing so. In recent years, countless kids with CP competed in athletic events, participated in long walks to raise awareness and more. The fact that the man profiled in the article has managed to live alone for his whole life reveals that, even when someone is severely afflicted with CP symptoms, they can sometime lead very independent and long lives.
CP and Independence
Sometimes, brain damage during pregnancy causes symptoms so severe that the child’s CP ends up necessitating around the clock care. This is not always the case, however. New treatments, including surgeries and assistive devices, have shown a great deal of promise in reducing the suffering that people with CP go through and have even made it possible for people who couldn’t walk to get up on their feet and out of the house.
These treatments can be very expensive, however, and are not always available in all areas. Parents or the CP sufferer themselves may have to travel a long way to get access to such treatments. Some are only offered in particular hospitals; some are largely experimental and are only available by participating in studies.
However someone with CP manages to get by, they oftentimes end up surprising the people around them. Some CP sufferers live very normal lives, with jobs and significant others and all the other day-to-day hassles that everyone else deals with. Some of them even end up living to be very elderly and to enjoy the rich collection of life experiences that go along with that. With today’s technology and a strong will to be independent, the possibilities are much more than they used to be.