Five-year-old Blake Pera adores going to the park and swinging at the playground, according to his mother, Jessica, and his babysitter, Rebecca Rowe.
However, thanks to help from the community and Monroe County, the little boy with cerebral palsy is having fun again.
“Blake has outgrown the infant swings and needs a supportive swing that accommodates children with disabilities,” Jessica explained. “This adventurous, active and fun boy has all the energy of a typical 5-year-old, but a body that just doesn’t cooperate.”
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s movement, muscle tone, or posture.
“In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movement associated with abnormal reflexes, floppiness or rigidity of the limbs and trunk, abnormal posture, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, or some combination of these,” the site read.
An idea for a special needs swing at the park gained traction after Rowe posted about it on a local Facebook community page along with Blake’s story.
“On March 14, Monroe County and Robert Glassmer, administrator of buildings, parks and beaches, had installed a swing Blake wanted at Key Largo Park. Above the swing is a name plate with Blake’s name,” the Weekly reported.
Upon arriving to the Keys, mom Jessica Pera said she noticed there were no swings for special needs children, like her…
Jessica expressed her thanks to neighbors for giving her son the opportunity to enjoy the park.
“Everybody from this community came in to help. We’re blown away and grateful to be part of this community,” she stated, adding that Blake has a great sense of humor and loves spending time with his two brothers.
Residents have been very welcoming to their family since they arrived, and Jessica said people like to say “hi” to her son.
“We just want to say thanks to the community for such a warm welcome to Key Largo. We’re excited to call this home and appreciate the community and all the love they have given to Blake and the boys,” she concluded.