Gift of Love: Anthony, Needs A Special Family -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

6/20/07 - Grand Saline, Texas

Gift of Love: Anthony, Needs A Special Family

Watching cartoons is one of Anthony's favorite past times. "He's happy. He's friendly. He likes toys that make noise," says Lana Means, his foster mom.

Anthony is 9 years old. He's been in foster care almost his entire life, removed because of medical neglect. "He was born at 26 weeks. He was very premature and had a lot of problems from birth," Lana says.

Among those problems, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy but, Lana says that hasn't stopped this young boy from excelling beyond anyone's expectations.

"He's developed a lot of upper and lower body strength since he's been here. He wasn't able to bear weight on his legs at all when we got him and the physical therapist that's been working with him now has him standing." Lana goes on to say, "The best way to describe him was a jellyfish. He would just fold up. He had no strength in any of his extremities at all."

Although Anthony is non-verbal, that doesn't mean he can't communicate. "He understands what you are saying you know, simple commands like give me your hand or raise your hands up if you are going to put him in a chair. He follows your commands."

And although he was a little shy for our camera's, Lana says he smiles and laughs often. "He's got quit a personality."

Anthony likes to be around other children and enjoys going to school. He will require total care, needing help dressing, bathing and eating, which he does through a feeding tube in his stomach. "But it's not anything that anyone can't handle. The tube feeding and all that stuff anybody can learn how to do that it's not hard. I mean he's just as sweet and lovable as he can be. I think anybody would be lucky to have him," says Lana.

Although this special young boy brings some unique challenges, he also brings an opportunity to share the Gift of Love.

"It's a lot more involved than just your average child but it can be very rewarding too. You know, like I said, to watch him go from what he was when I saw him is amazing."

For more about Anthony call our Gift of Love hotline, toll-free, 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan Reporting 

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