Boy born with cerebral palsy surprises parents during playtime — ‘We had no idea he knew it’

"I was just so proud."
May 4, 2018 3:49 pm Last Updated: May 4, 2018 3:49 pm

When a child strings together their first sentence it’s not uncommon for a parent to become overjoyed, perhaps even shed a tear or two at their child’s milestone.

For many children, this happens between two and three—but not for Jake Garza. Jake was born with cerebral palsy, and up until recently he only communicated using one word at a time.

That’s why, on one special day, Jake brought his father to tears.

Jake was born prematurely and as a result faced many health issues, including cerebral palsy.

Posted by Eric Garza on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

“He’s been through a lot since he was born,” Jake’s father, Eric, a Marine Science Technician First-Class in the United States Coast Guard, told FOX News. His mother also died from cancer.

The 5-year-old boy who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, has cerebral palsy, and although he has an “infectious personality” (his father gave him the nickname Mr. Handsome) he is often quiet.

According to Inside Edition, Jake typically communicates using single words.

Jake caught his family by surprise when he randomly started saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

One day while Jake and his family were playing, he started to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

“It was totally unexpected,” Jake’s step-mother, Taylor Garza told Inside Edition. “We had no idea he knew it.”

Taylor told her husband to get his camera, because they didn’t want to miss Jake’s milestone.

Eric made sure to record the touching moment on his phone.


Credit: Eric Garza 

Both Eric, a member of the Coast Guard, and Taylor were overwhelmed by Jake’s spontaneous recitation of the pledge.

“To see your kid hit such a big milestone and get out the whole pledge was amazing and brought tears of joy,” Taylor told FOX News.

Jake’s communication skills have also improved since he surprised everyone.

Eric, who credits his son’s teachers at Sexton Elementary where Jake attends kindergarten with teaching him the pledge, shared that Jake now speaks in full sentences.

“It’s so special. I mean, a year ago he could hardly say any words,” Eric told WTSP. “He’s come a long way.”