When Chantal Bryan was 35 weeks pregnant, she was involved in a terrible crash that separated her placenta from her uterus. Four days later, Jonathan was born with severe cerebral palsy and kidney failure. In fact, when he was just a couple of days old, doctors at the hospital performed a brain scan on him which resulted in one of the worst MRI scans they had ever seen.
Jonathan’s parents were told he would have profound learning disabilities and would be unable to walk or talk. The Bryans enrolled Jonathan at a specialized school for disabled children but due to his prognosis, the teachers never taught him to read or write.
Chantal recalled a conversation she had with her son about his time in school: “Jonathan later told me it was ‘babysitting.’ High level babysitting admittedly – lots of lovely activities, but no learning.” When Jonathan was seven, a different specialized told Chantal that her son may be able to communicate using his eyes. So, Chantal began to homeschool him to give him the undivided attention he deserved.
Chantal began working with Jonathan non-stop, teaching him to spell. She vividly remembers the day he had his “breakthrough” and was able to choose pre-selected words to construct sentences.
“He was unlocked. I asked him a whole load of questions, and in some ways, it was quite reassuring to realize we did know Jonathan all along,” Chantal recalled.
Head to the next page for a video made by Jonathan…