Boy With Cerebral Palsy Walks Into The Arms Of Dad Returning From Afghanistan

A little boy determined to defy doctors is inspiring people around him.

Six-Year-Old Michael Cooney of Onslow County was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy near his first birthday. His mother Melissa says doctors said he'd never walk again.

But this past December, Michael's dad returned home to Camp Lejeune after a six month deployment-- and for the first time Michael walked to his father.

Michael's mom says, "It was exciting-- the more we cheered for him-- the more he walked."

Michael's teacher Katie Olsen says, "Oh he was interested in getting around-- just not using a walker."

One day Michael's decision turned to action both at school and at home. Melissa says, "When people saw him stand up, they would say come on Michael! Take a step! Take a step!"

In the six months between the day dad left to the December night he got home from Afghanistan, the Cooney's worked together to get Michael stronger so that he could walk into his dad's arms.

The Cooney family says they hope Michael's miracle will inspire other families coping with Cerebral Palsy to push through the apparent limits and continue to work with their children to give them as much independence as possible.


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  • by Beverly Location: Arkansas on Feb 13, 2012 at 06:05 PM
    I am the Grandmother of that little boy and I applaud his family. Sadly his Dad came home from deployment to discover he had been diagnosed with CP at age 1. What a joy to come home 6 years later to have him walk into his arms!!! How can it not touch your heart? I thank the Lord for his blessings and am proud of my son for his service and his wife and children for the battle they fight on the home front. Grandma
    • reply
      by Rick on Feb 17, 2012 at 09:23 PM in reply to Beverly
      Amen , Beverly. Superman is still here and his name is Michael. What a beautiful family. I was (still am , so I'm told ) a Marine. People dont think of the true sacrafice all our service members make. For Marines its a little tougher. We are always on the go peace time or wartime. For your son and his family it is even tougher. A Marine doing what others fail to do , a good woman standing strong , beautiful kids sticking together. And a little boy fighting against the odds for his Daddy. I know what its like to be a Marine grunt and have a family and keeping both in balance. We are proud of your son ( i can tell he is squared away, so many guys would just buckle and become Poopbirds.) We are very proud of Michael, and it was heartwarming to see a family that knows what family means. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael and his family especially my fellow Marine there . Hopefully he wont have to rotate back into deployment. Michaels story has renewed our hope in heros, he is ours. Thank you.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 6, 2012 at 03:46 PM
    it is amazing the little things we take for granted, but the heart and the strength of this little boy. you are the hero to me and my family. we wish u the best in life and your family. love the heinzman
  • by crissy rose Location: celina ohio on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:50 AM
    its a blessing keep up up good work i pray for for my son too whos 9years old who has cerebral palsy too doctors told me same thang he would never walk or talk but my boy loves to walk when i holds his hands i have faith one day my baby will walk
  • by Not Impressed on Feb 1, 2012 at 08:19 PM
    Just watched this, and I have to agree with the now deleted comment of "THE Voice". A very well orchestrated publicity stunt with plenty of media exposure. Sorry, but you cannot look away from cold hard facts.
    • reply
      by Grant on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:42 AM in reply to Not Impressed
      Okay, i'll respond to your comment, but you need to justify it, if you dare to. Please tell us all how you feel that a boy diagnosed with CEREBRAL PALSY made this part of a publicity stunt. Please tell us all how your opinion is "cold hard facts". Of course the media was there, of course it was videotaped. If that were my child, I'd be right there taping the moment too. There is no question that this was videotaped in front of others, with music and everything. We live in a world where we share these things, and lord knows, we need more videos of GOOD PEOPLE AND GOOD EVENTS than having to deal with gangs, thugs, crime, violence, and selfishness. On behalf of everybody here, and I feel quite certain that I won't get a lot of flack here from others, let me say that i'm not impressed with you or your comment. Go back into your hole, there is still 6 weeks left of winter at least.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 12:10 PM in reply to Grant
        Grant, either you buy the lies and deceit or you are just ignorant.
      • reply
        by impressed with GRANT on Feb 3, 2012 at 07:33 AM in reply to Grant
        excellent comment Grant! i work with people who are disabled, and i think the person who changed their name from The Voice to Not impressed and Anonymous is emanating ignorance from every pore. for starters, a person with CP learning how to walk is not a political event. That person walking into their dad's arms after he was gone for so long, is also not a political event. it is an awesome event, and i DARE you to go look into that kids eyes (with his dad standing next to him) and tell him what you so cowardly state behind a screen.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2012 at 03:52 PM in reply to impressed with GRANT
          Anytime. Any place.
  • by John Location: Tucson, Arizona on Feb 1, 2012 at 06:58 PM
    Love it! People with cerebral palsy are tough! I was born with CP and kept it a secret to join the Navy and kept my CP secret during my entire 20 year career. You can read about it in my memoir Someone Like Me - An Unlikely Story of Challenge and Triumph Over Cerebral Palsy.
    • reply
      by awesome on Feb 1, 2012 at 07:32 PM in reply to John
      good for you--i love how people are able to overcome things when no one expects it. you are tough!
  • by laura Location: greenville on Feb 1, 2012 at 02:00 PM
    What a wonderful story! You must have a rock where your heart should be if you don't find this story touching.
  • by judy Location: ohio on Jan 31, 2012 at 09:35 PM
    i know amazing young man in his mid 20's now that, his parents were told the something. He not only walks but drives a car and holds a real job in a factory doing a real job getting a real pay check. Just never say never for a kid with CP because they can.
  • by CP Mom Location: Houston, Tx on Jan 31, 2012 at 07:58 PM
    THE VOICE... Your a jerk. I know how it feels to have a child they said would never walk, I am also a veteran. Trust me, seeing that child walk for the first time was probably the single proudest moment in that soldiers life. How dare you try take away from that moment by being so negative!!! Shame on you!!!
    • reply
      by Agreed on Feb 1, 2012 at 03:11 AM in reply to CP Mom
      I agree with you, "THE Voice" is a jerk! I also know how it feels to never see your child walk or talk. People like "The Voice" are the only ones missing out in that situation! Having a child that is differently-abled is alot of hard work and determination on both parts, but the pure joy that comes from the child will keep you going!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM in reply to CP Mom
      It is called freedom of speech, hero. If you don't like the comment, don't respond.
      • reply
        by its called brave.. on Feb 1, 2012 at 07:30 PM in reply to
        which is more brave? insulting people behind a computer screen? or taking care of a child that has a disability, and fighting for your country? hmmmmmm
    • reply
      by Cheryl on Feb 9, 2012 at 08:11 PM in reply to CP Mom
      I too have a child that was diagnosed withcp at age 10months,with the same prognosis.She will probably nevr walk or talk.We didn't take the news well,and went on a mission to do everything in our power to give our daughter a chance.I quit my job,traveled 3 to 5 days a week seeking out therapy and hired a private therapist to come to our home a few nights a week.AT AGE 5 SHE WAS WALKING WITH A WALKER,SHE ALSO USED A dYNAVOX AND PECS TO HELP HER COMMUNICATE AND AT ABOUT 13 YRS OLD WHEN ALL ODDS WERE AGAINST HER.She began to talk..To the "Voice",This is an example of what hard work,determaination and lots of prayer can do.DID WE BEAT THE ODDS?oH YES WE DID ,HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A MIRACLE?WELL,YOU HAVE NOW.if you don't believe me,I would be happy to share all her medical info along with all the"Gizmos' THAT WERE INVENTED AND USED TO HELP HER ACCOMPLISH THIS "MIRACAL".PS..No hard feelings if you don't beleive,it really doesn't matter.We beleive...we see it every day!!!
  • by THE Voice Location: Berkeley, CA on Jan 31, 2012 at 06:55 PM
    This comment has been deleted.
    • reply
      by Shine on Jan 31, 2012 at 09:25 PM in reply to THE Voice
      Hope your vehicle does not break down in front of my house. Talk about attitude.
      • reply
        by Not Impressed on Feb 1, 2012 at 08:19 PM in reply to Shine
        Shine, get a life.
  • by Shine Location: NE NC on Jan 31, 2012 at 06:26 PM
    HEY FOLKS!!!!! We need to assemble a parade! Two guys in St. Louis did it for the verterans and it was huge. Me could make him the Grand Martial....... I am serious.... I have put together more than one parade... It would be neat!!! swcowboy1@ hotmail.com
    • reply
      by THE Voice on Jan 31, 2012 at 06:56 PM in reply to Shine
      This comment has been deleted.
      • reply
        by to 'the' voice on Jan 31, 2012 at 08:43 PM in reply to THE Voice
        haha how so? are you the armchair expert on armchair patriots now?
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