Cynthia Davis sits with her children, Madison, 5, and Julius, 7, on the front porch of their home. Madison was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was 9-months-old. Madison will enter kindergarten next year at Valley Grande Elementary. -- Desiree Taylor

Mother credits faith, prayer for special journey

Published 11:49pm Saturday, May 12, 2012

As she sat there on the front steps of her home, her mother gently rubbing her head, nestled safely in her lap, 5-year-old Madison Davis looked up at the sky and smiled. Madison was happy it seemed. Happy to be sitting next to her older brother Julius Jr., 7, and her biggest supporter: her mother Cynthia.

Madison will be attending kindergarten at Valley Grande Elementary in the fall. Like any mother sending her child off to a new environment, Cynthia has some apprehension.

“I’m really scared, knowing she’s not used to being in a big environment … I’m praying everything will work out fine,” Cynthia said. “I have to keep the faith and know everything’s going to work out fine.”

Madison will be unlike many of her classmates. She’s had cerebral palsy since the age of 1.

Cynthia, a stay-at-home mom, recalls the joys and sorrows of her pregnancy with Madison, nearly three years after the birth of her son Julius.

“All was well until about four to five months,” Cynthia said, who was a nurse at the time. “Madison started getting really, really sickly, not eating well, not gaining any weight. She also had severe asthma … she wasn’t crawling, talking, walking — just doing the things that normal kids do.”

When Madison was 9-months-old, Cynthia and her husband Julius, admitted her to the hospital for a number of tests.

“We went to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham … as a nurse, I knew something wasn’t right,” Cynthia said. “She got tested for genetics, nerves, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, nutrition. Every week to two weeks, I was going to Birmingham.”

The revelation of what her daughter had, ripped Cynthia apart. She was at a crossroads.

“I cried everyday,” Cynthia said, choked up. “I was under a lot of stress and I didn’t have a lot of help. I was like, ‘Lord, how much can I take? I never had a child with special needs before; I didn’t know what I was going to do or how I was going to do it.”

Cynthia later decided to quit her job as a nurse to commit to her daughter fulltime.

“She didn’t walk until she was 2 — I had to teach her how to walk,” Cynthia said. “She used braces and walkers. I had to take her everywhere with me. Just imagine picking up a child, having to hold them, everywhere. I take her to every appointment, never missed — I was there. I ain’t worked in four years, but it’s important to my baby’s life.”

Madison still visits Children’s Hospital in Birmingham every three months for regular checkups. Cynthia also credits the Children’s Rehabilitation Service for keeping her little girl on track.

“It’s been a long journey,” Cynthia said. “I had to do it step by step, day by day — lots of prayer; I still pray everyday.

Madison, Cynthia said, is my “miracle” and for that, she’s grateful.

“That’s all my baby do is smile,” Cynthia said. “Even if she cries or hurts, she stays smiling. Even from all she went through.”

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