Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Family Shares Story of their Hero
(KUTV) Every year, about 1,300 babies are born with a birth defect here in Utah. In many cases, the cause of the birth defect is not known. This is the case for one Utah Family.
Amandas son was born with a condition called spinal bifida. Zachary Mateus is now 4-years-old. His favorite movie is Cars 2 and Batman is his favorite superhero.
When Zachary was born, the bones of his spine did not form properly around the spinal cord. He had a hole in is back and he had surgery. Zachs mom was 31 weeks pregnant with him when she found out. You literally feel like you are being sucked in a hole and everything is coming from far away, said Amanda. It wasnt something we were expecting to hear. You hear these things happen but you dont think they will ever happen to you.
Birth defects, like spinal bifida, are very common. The National Birth Defect Prevention Network estimates that 1 out of every 33 babies is born with a birth defect. January is National Birth Defect Awareness Month. A public service announcement, featuring children like Zach, has hit the airwaves. The message: more research is needed to understand birth defects and how to prevent them.
Zachary will likely spend most of his life in a wheelchair. One of the biggest challenge that is frustrating for him is getting up and down the stairs, says Amanda. And he gets frustrated that he wants to keep up with all of his friends and his brothers that are running round.
Despite his limitations, Zachary has made much progress since his birth. His mother calls an inspiration to others.
For more information on the National Birth Prevention Network, visit: www.endbirthdefects.org
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)