Andrew Prashad’s wife was 23 weeks pregnant when doctors told them their unborn son had some serious birth defects—spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and Chiari malformation type II.
The outcome, the doctors and specialists said, would be that their son would never have any function below his waist—not even bathroom function or leg movement. They were asked if they wanted to abort the baby.
Prashad and his wife decided it didn’t matter—they would give their baby the best life they could.
“We were going to have him regardless and do our best as his family to give him a terrific life,” Andrew said in a video on the Life of Dad Facebook page.
On June 25, their baby boy was born and they named him Ezra Courage Prashad. He was rushed to the sick kids hospital and later had surgery on his back to try and repair his spine and close the hole in his back. That’s when Andrew witnessed something that would bring him hope.
He saw Ezra’s foot wiggle.
“I saw his foot wiggle. It gave me hope,” he narrated with excitement.
“But regardless if his legs moved, I just wanted the surgery to be successful,” said the loving dad.
They had to learn how to look after Ezra.
Prashad and his wife already had two healthy children. Now they had to learn how to care for their new son and his different medical needs. Ezra is unable to pass urine on his own, so they had to learn how to catheterize him.
“He can poop though, and that’s extremely helpful!” Prashad said.
Prashad was now a busy dad of three, juggling working as an actor, singer and dancer with numerous hospital check-ups for Ezra.
Then came a scary moment.
On February 9, Ezra had to have brain surgery to reduce the fluid buildup in his ventricles. Prashad said this was probably the scariest moment in his life: “Handing my son over to the surgeon not knowing if he was coming back.”
That was February, and thankfully his son survived the brain surgery.
By August of 2016, Ezra was moving his legs!
The toddler was starting to show real signs of leg movement, and even trying to pull up on things. A month later, in mid September, the boy who doctors had predicted wouldn’t be able to move below the waist, crawled for the first time!
“Once he was able to stand and bear weight on his feet the next thing our physiotherapist wanted us to try was climbing stairs,” explained Prashad. “At 18 months he started to get stronger so we started training him at home.”
Through persistent practice, Ezra learned how to walk (with a little help).
Committed and creative, they would take the exercises from therapy and try to replicate them at home.
Those efforts paid off when little Ezra could place weight on his legs and walk with assistance!
“Ezra has become very agile in his walker. It’s a relief that he enjoys his walker so much. It’s currently the only way for him to walk,” said his father.
And there’s ALWAYS time to dance.
Prashad loves to go for a walk by the lake every day with Ezra after dropping off his girls at school—and stop for a bit of a dance.
“I bring my tap shoes sometimes and we dance together on a tree stump,” said Prashad. “He loves dancing! And listening to music. He loves Michael Jackson!”
Will there be more miracles for the miracle baby?
Prashad has no idea if Ezra will ever be able to do anything more than he can now, but is quick to point out that what he can do is far beyond anything he thought he’d be capable of.
“He’s my miracle baby,” says Prashad.