Disabled 3-Year-Old Walks for the First Time & Surprises Everyone

Awww! 24

first stepsA toddler's first steps mark an exciting occasion for every family. But when you've been told that your child will never walk? Those first steps are gold. Hannah Dewhurst's parents were told she would never walk. The 3-year-old girl has Cornelia de Lange Syndrome, and for her that means not being able to feed herself or talk. She also has a cleft palate and is the size of an 18-month-old. As a baby she almost died.

But somehow, Hannah defied doctors' predictions and took her first steps. Her mother, Anna Dewhurst, describes what it's like to witness this wonderful surprise. "She will take just little steps. It was absolutely amazing to see her walking. It makes me very emotional as we didn’t know if she would ever walk."

How sweet, to see your daughter reach a milestone your doctors said she'd never reach. Maybe Hannah is stronger than everyone thought.

Having a disabled child means balancing between disappointing lows and thrilling emotional highs. My youngest sister has cerebral palsy. She can't feed herself or walk -- and it's so difficult for her to talk. My mother has a neighbor who is always chirping out, "You'll walk someday! You will!" And it kind of makes me angry. (My sister is in her 20s now.) But every milestone my sister has reached has still been a major triumph -- and my mother cherishes every day with her.

No matter how small, every new skill a disabled child learns is a victory for her and her parents. I hope this is just the first of many victories for Hannah. "The day when she gives me a proper hug and a kiss will be a very special one," Anna says. "It’s not easy having a disabled child. It’s wonderful but it is incredibly difficult."

Have you seen children exceed their doctors' predictions?


Image via Dermot O'Halloran/Flickr

in the news, toddler development


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nonmember avatar toni

i know the feeling, My daughter has a form muscular dystrophy, I was told she would never walk. At 20 months old she was walking!!! I never believe anything doctors tell me anymore. When she was born I could tell there was something wrong, She wasn't breathing right they told me it was just a cold it will go away. I was in the back of an ambulance when she was 2 months old being rushed to the hospital to find out she had Pneumonia.

Awesome news for your family!!

Amanda Seibert

So heartwarming!!! I love to see kids defy the limits the doctors decide. I've seen in firsthand! The sky is the limit baby!

mrssu... mrssundin

We were told our daughter wouldn't walk either due to her having complications from her micro preemie birth. She took her first steps at age 2 and has been walking ever since.

Dawn Mangham

i had a stage 4 cancerous brain tumor in 91 the drs at brackenridge hospital told my mom the surgery was too dangerous and to take me home so i could die with dignity then a second opinion at md anderson said they would do the surgery but if i lived i would be blind or brain dead they gave me a 1 in 4 chance of surviving the surgery my response at age 12 -id rather be blind than dead-2 months later i survived the surgery and then 6 months of radiation then they told my mom i wouldnt be able to finish school go to college or lead an unassisted life ....23 years of remmision graduated some college married and had three children and doing just fine and most of my hair grew back too in fact have held many jobs the most important being a mother but moral is dont ever let a doctor tell you something cant be done only god knows whats going to happen

Sandra Thornhill


Sandra Thornhill

purple ribbonhttps://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/httpswwwfacebookcomreunitezoeywithhermommysfamilyfrefts/7lDpx6tY

Bridget Bowman


nonmember avatar Trina

My mom was given 3 months to live after surgery on a brain tumor didn't turn out the results we'd hoped. When Hospice showed up at our house my mom said, "Thank you for coming but no one here is dying," and shut the door. She lived for 15 more years, lived to see all of us 4 kids married and all but the last one's children. We were very blessed. God determines life not a doctor.

gamma4 gamma4

Seen I child get messed up at birth...they "dug " the internal probe into her head when two attempts didn't work....which allowed herpes to enter her brain...causing seizures and brain damage which caused almost complete blindness ....blah blah never talk sit up alone blah blah...at a year she sits on her knees doesn't walk..sok...speaks some words.....some very very clearly lol...she will be twenty one this year

gamma4 gamma4

My grandma had stage 4 cancer...was given 6 months....3 TIMES...in 8. YEARS....The last time she had been hostpitalized 2 months in a row for a weak to remove fluid from her lungs...sent her home for her LAST Christmas at home...hospitalized again the next month....then 3 YEARS later we lost her

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