As I sat talking to Instructor Jason Stephens one evening, in one of my trips to
the Centerpoint Dojo, Mr. Stephens directed my attention to one of his students.
It is common for Instructors and parents to point out students to me to show how
well students are doing. As I watched this student train, he seemed to be training
fairly well, keeping up with the other students, and the Instructor's count.
It was after class that Mr. Stephens told me the story behind this student. This
students name is David Lee. David's life has been filled with challenges and
roadblocks. Let me tell you David's story.
David James Lee was born on September 14, 1999 to Tracie and Greg Lee. During the birthing process, David aspirated bodily fluids into his lungs, and was cofined to the Neo-Natal Intentsive Care Unit for 21 days. David spent 17 of the 21 days on a ventilator machine. Mr. and Mrs. Lee had a variety of different opinions as to how much damage David suffered from the aspiration. They were told that David would not walk or talk, and that he may not live through the ordeal. The Lee's turned the matter over to the Lord in prayer.
The Lord answered the Lee's prayers, and after 21 days in Intensive Care, David's condition bergan to improve. The Lee's found that David had a strong will to live. david was able to come home approximately one month after birth. Doctors told the Lee's David had suffered a stroke as a result of the aspiration, and that this would affect David's motor skills on his right side. The doctors told the Lee's that David's speech would be affected, and that David would not be able to participate in competitive athletics. The Lee's continued to pray for David, and trust in The Lord for David's physical recovery.
David continued to improve through his early childhood. The Lee's noticed that David was about 6 months behind in his crawling and his walking. The Lee's also noticed that David would walk on his tip-toes, especially with his right foot. After visiting an Orthopedic Specialist, the Lee's learned that the muscles in David's right leg lacked flexibility as a result of the stroke. This required David's leg be placed in a cast, and later fitted with a brace that David still uses today. David was placed in physical therapy twice a week. David's speech was also affected by the stroke, resulting in him being placed in speech therapy twice a week.
David continue to improve physically, and by age 3, David was phsically active, and talking continuously. Although his speech was slurred, he never had a problem getting his point across. Doctors told the Lee's that David had made miraculous progress, and with time and hard work, David should overcome the majority of his problems. David quickly picked up The Lee's Home School routine, and has become aqn active part of the Chldrens Ministry program at the Lee's church. David has a great attitude, and approaches every task with a smile.
In April, 2006, the Lee's began to search for extra-curricular activities for David to participate in. David has always enjoyed watching the Super Heroes on TV, and wrestling with his Dad. While driving by International Karate one afternoon, David expressed interest in giving karate a try. The Lee's were apprehensive about allowing David to participate in karate because of his physical shortcomings. The Lee's were concerned that David's self-esteem may be impacted in a negative way. What the Lee's forgot was David's strong will to succeed, and his attitude.
Since his first day at IKF Karate, David has been eager to learn. Mrs. Lee says The entire Instructors staff, especially Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, have been so patient and encouraging with David. Karate has been a positive impact on David's self confidence and his overall personality, Mrs. Lee says. In three months of training, the Lee's have noticed a significant improvement in David's flexibility, and his balance. David has tested twice, and currently wears a Blue Belt proudly. Mrs. Lee says words cannot express their gratitude to IKF Karate, and to the professional and nurturing learning environment that IKF Karate provides at their facility.
David's name was chosen many months before his birth. The Lee's had no idea at the time how well the name would fit him. David's name means "beloved", "strong-willed", and "courageous".
David resides in Centerpoint, with his parents, and his 2 sisters. David attends Centerpoint First United Methodist Church, where he loves to hear the story of... what else? David and Goliath. David will begin 1st. grade in the fall. David continues to work toward his next belt in Karate. The Lee's thank God each day for David, and the Lee's trust that God has a purpose for David's life. The Lee's hope that David's story will encourage others to live life to the fullest, reguardless of the personal circumstances, and to always trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In closing, David is an excellent example of what happens when you have that will to succeed, no matter what the odds are. In this day and time, it would have been so easy to let a computer, or video games, or take the easy way out, and be content and concede that David is hadicapped, and not try. Instead, David and the Lee's took on the obsticles, and with faith in God, and that will to overcome and to succeed, not just try it, but to succeed at it, David has, and is living life to the fullest. The next time we complain about a cramp, or try to find a reason not to do something, we should think about David who complains only when people try to hold him back.
A Special thanks goes to Tracie and Greg Lee, for the information to make this article possible. This article is the sole opinion of the Webmaster, with permission from Mrs. Lee to print the abvove information concerning David. All remarks should be directed at the Webmaster , for I take full responsibility for this aricle.
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