Perinatal stroke survivor receives therapy bike from nonprofit organization

QUAKERTOWN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- This was a special day for a special little boy with special needs.

2-year-old Michael Keeble of Quakertown, Pa received an Amtryke Therapeutic Tricycle from Ambucs.

Michael survived a stroke at birth. A perinatal stroke is a stroke that occurs within the first seven days of life, and the cause is often unknown.

"If you had seen him when he was born, you would not recognize him," said Jennifer Keeble, Michael's mother. "He was heavily sedated due to a number of seizures he had in his first days of life."

Michael suffered permanent damage that caused weakness to the right side of his body.

"The diagnosis was startling," Jennifer Keeble said. "We were shocked when we learned stroke is more common in babies than any other age group. He is such a hard worker, and if you didn't know of his diagnosis, you would likely assume he doesn't face any physical challenges."

Michael's brand new therapy bike was delivered by George Growcott, a volunteer with the non-profit Ambucs. Their mission is to inspire mobility and independence for people with disabilities.

Growcott connects with therapists to identify children that would benefit from a customized therapy bike.

"One of the big things we do is present trikes and bicycles to special needs and disabled folks. Try to make them more mobile. Help them build on their body strength and their flexibility," Growcott said.

Jennifer Keeble added, "This bike is going to be able to support him in strengthening without even realizing it. He loves playing outside. He's fun-loving. He's energetic. To be on the bike will be a fun activity and he won't even realize it is helping in getting stronger."
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