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Our Stories: Jonathan

Playing catch up after a premature birth

Jonathan Anderson of Burnsville, Minnesota has had to work hard to be just a kid.  Born prematurely at 36 weeks he weighed just 4 pounds, 5 ounces, and spent 11 days in the hospital.  When he was just two months old, Jonathan went into cardiac arrest. After his mother performed CPR at home, he was rushed to the hospital where he was placed on a ventilator for 17 days.  He was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. 

Anderson began receiving physical therapy at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – Burnsville when he was less than a year old. At 18 months, he began occupational and speech therapy as well. As an infant and toddler, he was delayed in meeting all his developmental milestones. He had difficulty with crawling, walking, balance, using his arms, feeding himself and building his language skills. 

His family worked tirelessly to improve Jonathan’s quality of life and functional abilities.  He now acts and behaves like any other 8-year-old kid.  He eats well, walks without assistance, writes his name, and carries on a conversation (especially if it has anything to do with pirates!). 

“Jonathan has demonstrated significant progress throughout the years and is a true inspiration to the therapists at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute – Burnsville!” said Dana Frost, OTR/L.

Anderson continues to try tasks that are difficult for him, always striving for more independence even if it takes longer for him to do on his own.  His infectious laugh and shy smile make working with him fun, so that his therapists look forward to his treatment appointments.  His ability to participate in the world with little adaptation shows his strength, determination and love of life. He is an inspiration to everyone around him.




Jonathan Anderson is a 2013 Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute Inspiration Award winner.