ST. HELENA PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A little boy with cerebral palsy from St. Helena Parish is beating the odds thanks to a tendon releasing surgery he had about two months ago.
Merick Williams Jr. is now able to take his first steps without his walker about two months after that surgery. His mother, Kayla Nichols, says she’s overjoyed with his progress.
“He’s been working so hard. It’s been tough on him with the progress, but I make sure he’s going to physical therapy and practicing almost every day at home to get better at walking,” Nichols said.
The 5-year-old was first featured on WAFB in 2018 when a video of him scoring a touchdown for his little league football team went viral.
He’s known as “MJ” to his family and friends. His mother had him early at 23 weeks and he came into the world weighing just 1 lb 4 oz. Jamar Martin, his football coach, says it’s a blessing to have such a special kid on his team.
“I’ve coached a lot of Hawks, but I’ve never coached a warrior until MJ,” Martin told WAFB’s Scottie Hunter. “It’s just so great to have someone as special as MJ on my team.”
As Williams continues to accomplish every goal he sets his mind to, his mother says he’s already looking forward to furthering his interest in sports by including baseball in his resume.
“He’s going to be playing baseball this spring and we couldn’t be more excited for everything he’s doing,” Nichols added.
Nichols says the future is bright for her son. She says doctors anticipate he will be able to walk fully on his own sometime in the future.
“Yes, his doctors do predict that he will function fully without his walker, but his biggest problem is that he is afraid to fall,” Nichols said. “The main goal is to continue to keep weight on his legs and make sure he is very active because if not, his legs will tighten again.”
Williams will turn 6 when his birthday comes around in June.