A two-year-old boy who has been suffering from spina bifida since he was born has defied the odds by learning how to walk, and his enthusiasm has been captured in a clip that has gone viral and viewed 23 million times.
The mother of a boy, Whitney Dinkel, 29, posted a clip on Facebook recently to share her two-year-old son Roman’s joy when he was walking with crutches and excitedly telling his dog Maggie to look at him while he takes a few steps.
Roman, of Overland Park, Kansas, was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spinal cord and spine don’t develop properly in utero.
“We just expected to hear the normal things, this is the size of the head, this is the size of his feet, all those fun things, but what we heard was he had extra fluid on his brain and extra fluid on his spine,” Roman’s mother Whitney Dinkel said.
Despite the odds, his parents were determined to persevere. Roman actually had an operation before he was born to increase his chances of being able to walk.
“I had to let him fall a few times so he’d know I wouldn’t be there to catch him, and he had to learn how to catch himself,” Whitney said.
Perhaps that’s why, when he finally did walk after days of practicing, Roman was so excited to show the family dog, Maggie, what he could do. Roman’s mom was excited too. She posted the video on Facebook and in just hours, people around the world were sharing in Roman’s joy. Mom and Dad have received non-stop messages.
From random people telling us their story, you know, how they were depressed, or you know, how they were suicidal, or how they were going through these medical situations and to see that he influenced them in a positive way to change their mindset and change their view it’s just so heartwarming. It feels like he just gave hope to so many people with a seven-second clip.” Whitney said.