"Emma Nicole Bennett was born on April 19th, 2003. When my water broke, her heart rate dropped to an extremely dangerous rate due to a compromised umbilical cord, which was wrapped around her neck, torso, leg, and arm. She also suffered a “true knot” in the umbilical cord that caused lack of oxygen to her brain resulting in brain damage, cerebral palsy, and seizures. The doctors said she may not make it past the first 24 hours, but if she did, she would never walk or talk. Emma truly was a fighter then and continues to be a fighter now. She did struggle with walking but has made great progress thanks to medication and adapted devices for her shoes. When she was one years old, she received Botox injections and was placed in the casts for about six months to help straighten out her feet. It was not until right before her 2nd birthday that she took her first steps with the assistance of a walker and braces. She wore two different kinds of braces on her feet that allowed them to stay straight enough to maintain balance. The braces were AFOs (braces that fit in her shoes and went up to the mid leg) and the SMOs (braces that just fit in shoes), and were extremely helpful for learning to walk, run and keep up with her brothers and sisters.
Emma continues to struggle with balance, but all the adapted devices that she had when she was young made a big difference. She continues to get Botox which helps ease the tightness in her muscles. She will always struggle with cerebral palsy, developmental delay, and seizures but she maintains her drive to do the things she loves. Emma continues to enjoy horseback riding, pageants for girls with special needs (she even wore heels), adapted bowling, adapted softball, and adapted basketball.
This is Emma’s story, thank you for reading."
-Donnetta Wallace - Emma’s Mom