Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

This is Jacob!

Jacob was born with Myotonic Dystrophy, a muscle disorder. He was in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for 2 months at birth and came home with a breathing tube (trach) and a feeding tube (g-tube). Plus, he came home with an Elks therapist in place, ready to work with our son.

Our Elks therapist has helped Jacob overcome many of the challenges he has with low muscle tone and poor coordination. He was challenged daily with lack of motor function a regular person takes for granted, like breathing, eating, and even crawling. Over time and, sometimes frustratingly slowly, he has overcome some of the more basic life functions.

Jacob will soon be 20 years old. He talks, walks, climbs stairs, writes, and can kick a ball, all without assistance or special aids. These are things that our Elks therapist has helped Jacob achieve. He was free of his trach and g-tube, at age 2. However, this last year, with 2 bad bouts of pneumonia, he has been given a new trach, g-tube, and pacemaker.

We hope he will get stronger and again overcome these things. Myotonic Dystrophy, in the infant form, includes low muscle tone. But Jacob will get the adult form also, which is a “failing” of muscle tone. Each case is different, but with Jacob’s strong will, we hope he will have a full life.

Thank you to the generous members and many friends of the Washington State Elks Association.