For years, the show Breaking Bad was one of the most popular series on television. And while the main characters were a drug-dealing, chemistry-teaching cancer patient and his former student turned meth cook and dealer, there was another character who was living with cerebral palsy on the show.
Not only that, he also lives with the condition in real life. This is something that not only inspired his role with the character, but inspires others to live life in a manner that doesn’t let a disorder hold them back.
For actor Roy Frank “RJ” Mitte III, cerebral palsy is a real thing and it has impacted his life in a number of ways. While roughly 764,000 children and adults live with cerebral palsy in the United States, it is something that has not stopped RJ from going above his condition to not only fulfill his dream, but give hope to others about what they can do.
Many parents worry what cerebral palsy means for their child following diagnosis, but it’s important to recognize what they’re capable of and help foster that ambition. This means recognizing the symptoms, but also not letting them define your child and his or her future.
RJ Mitte’s Story
At birth, RJ was delivered via emergency cesarean section. When he was delivered, he wasn’t breathing and as a result, he suffered a brain injury because of the lack of oxygen supply. He was not initially diagnosed with cerebral palsy, though. That diagnosis did not come until he was three years old.
At that time, he was given crutches and leg braces that he was forced to use through much of his youth. According to RJ, the process of adding the leg braces serves as a painful memory of his condition as doctors would position his legs into place before putting on a cast. A few weeks later, they’d remove the cast, move his legs forcefully again, and then replace the cast.
While many parents and young children would look at this as a potential life sentence, RJ took up soccer and other exercises as physical therapy. By the time he was a teenager, he was able to walk without having to use his crutches, and with the leg braces off completely.
One of the symptoms many cerebral palsy patients suffer from is leg stiffness. To help prevent this from happening, RJ does yoga on a regular basis and takes various medications to help with muscle relaxation. Both methods help to prevent the symptoms of the condition from worsening.
RJ also has some speech problems associated with the cerebral palsy, and this was seen over the years on the set of Breaking Bad. However, he’s helped this with many years of speech therapy, a proven treatment method for those suffering from cerebral palsy.
What if Symptoms are Worse?
RJ Mitte’s story is an inspiring one and anyone suffering from cerebral palsy can look at it as motivation. However, there are some situations in which patients suffer much worse symptoms than RJ experienced as a child and it can make doing these things seem impossible. It’s difficult to think about, but there are some children who won’t regain their mobility the way RJ did, but it shouldn’t stop them from trying.
Severe symptoms of cerebral palsy may not be curable, but there are various things that people can do to live as comfortable a life as possible. This includes various methods of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and more. Over time, the body can become stronger, mobility can improve, and the overall effects of CP can lessen—even if just a little bit.
However, it’s important to know that the lifelong expenses associated with cerebral palsy can be difficult to overcome, especially when nobody expects to be encountered with such a financial burden. This makes it much more important to recognize the need for legal counsel and pursuing compensation from a party whose negligence may have caused the problem.
What Patients and Families Can do Moving Forward
Moving forward after a cerebral palsy diagnosis can prove to be a difficult task. The shock and surprise of the diagnosis, the physical impairment the child may face, and the overall feeling of life giving you a raw deal can make it so you feel there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
However, if RJ’s story tells us anything, it’s that people can move forward. While your child may not progress in the same manner that RJ did, there are various things they can do to fight and pursue the most comfortable life possible. Taking physical therapy and participating in various activities can help to improve the physical impact of cerebral palsy, and it can serve as a morale boost moving forward.
For most parents, the biggest concern comes with having to afford the financial expenses associated with various therapy treatments, special equipment, long-term care, and other needs that can help make life as comfortable and fulfilling as possible.
It becomes crucial to understand if negligence was involved in causing cerebral palsy and what you can do to pursue maximum compensation. If the doctor failed to monitor your pregnancy or perform emergency delivery following a prolonged labor, they can be held accountable for the amount of time your baby was without oxygen.
You need someone on your side who can help you understand your rights fully and put together a strong case strategy. This can prove to be the help you need to guide your child through his or her life in the most positive way possible.
How Our Philadelphia Birth Injury Attorneys Can Help You
When you look at a story such as RJ’s, you can’t help but be inspired by the possibility of doing great things even when the medical world feels you won’t. There are a lot of great things that people with cerebral palsy can do with their lives.
At The Beasley Firm, we have helped countless individuals overcome the effects of cerebral palsy and move on to fruitful lives as adults. To do this, we work hard to hold negligent parties accountable for their accounts and pursue the compensation needed to cover the costs of treatment.
You can count on our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers to stand by your side throughout the entire process and guide you through the complex legal system. We have the experience, past results, and tenacious representation you need to hold negligence accountable.
If RJ Mitte has taught us one thing, it’s that persistence and dedication can go a long way, even when you feel your back is against the wall. Let us be your voice. Let us help you during this difficult time. Let us be the beacon of hope to get where you need to be at all times. We’re here, ready to help you during one of life’s most difficult situations and show you that you can live with whatever condition, so long as you have the resources needed.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most devastating birth injuries when symptoms are severe. You always need to understand your rights and have someone safeguard them. Call us today at (215) 866-2424 to schedule your free consultation and to speak with a lawyer.