Beating the odds

Beating the odds
Posted on Wed 27 Jan 2021

Written by Maria Esposito

Nicholas had a five percent chance of survival when he was born.  

He was fifteen weeks premature, weighing only 800 grams.  

He spent the first four months of his life in hospital, mostly on life support.  

We were told on one occasion that his breathing machine was going to be switched off. During this time, he also had pneumonia, a collapsed lung, chronic lung disease and heart surgery. 

Head scans were done on him regularly. On the 4th March 1998 (a day that has stuck with me), my husband and I were called into a meeting with numerous doctors. We were told Nic was very ill. His scans had shown some damage on the brain and he would probably be severely disabled.  

By the time we left hospital, the scans showed that the damage to the brain looked clear, but the doctors had not seen this before and did not know how he would be affected.  

He remained on continuous oxygen for the first year of his life. We nearly lost him a few times, and we spent countless hours in hospitals. But he never gave up.  

At one year corrected, he was diagnosed with the most severe form of cerebral palsy: spastic quadriplegia. 

He began therapy with Cerebral Palsy Alliance following his diagnosis. Over the years, he has accessed speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, conductive education, the accessible gym and Bocce. 

Nic has wanted to do the Krazy Kosci Klimb for a long time, but due to poor health and the fact that he was always recovering from surgeries, it hasn’t been possible. Over the last couple of years, his health has improved and he has been training at the gym to get his fitness up.  

His dream is to get out of his chair and walk across the finish line.  

We have had a lot of support from our family and friends. We held a fundraising trivia night and it was a great success. Team Nicholas have raised nearly $25,000 for the accessible gym and sports program at Cerebral Palsy Alliance, and we’re topping the leaderboard!  

To anyone donating to our team, Cerebral Palsy Alliance was a lifeline for our family 23 years ago.  Without their support and guidance, Nic probably would not be where he is today. 


If you would like to donate to Team Nicholas, click below! 

It’s Dogtober! October is officially the month dedicated to raising awareness of Assistance Dogs in Australia. To celebrate, we spoke to Paralympic gold medallist Amanda Reid about her experience as someone living with cerebral palsy and how her Assistance Dog has had a major positive impact on her wellbeing.

A cerebral (palsy) conversation with filmmaker, actor, advocate and CPA client, Emily Dash


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