Patient Spotlight: Lorena and David

Meet Lorena Cruz and her son, David Justo-Cruz:

Lorena and her son David who is now 16 years old has cerebral palsy. He has been a part of the Weinberg Family CP Center since the very beginning and a patient of Dr. Hyman’s for nearly all of his life. Lorena gives us insight into her and David’s experience with WFCPC.

How did you find the Weinberg Family CP Center: 

When David was around 1.5 years old is when we started coming to NewYork-Presbyterian and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, before the Weinberg Family CP Center was even created. I noticed David was falling behind physically around the time he should be learning how to walk. I saw a Neurologist who told me that David will never walk in his life, so I did what was best for David and began getting second opinions all over the country and even back in my home country. Along that journey I was recommended to a neurologist Dr. Cigdem Ackman at Columbia Medical and NYP, who saw David and referred us to Dr. Joshua Hyman.

How has the Weinberg Family CP Center impacted your care: 

The Weinberg Family CP Center has impacted David’s care because I have learned different pieces of advice from the Center and also from other parent’s experiences when they have expressed themselves at different group meetings offered over the years that really helped us in our journey and David’s overall care. 

What advice can you give other parents: 

The advice I would give to other parents is to never quit, to have faith, patience, and lots of love for their children. As parents, we cannot ever get tired of helping them get better. The reward for both the parent and child you can receive by persevering is so worthy and gratifying in the end. Also, as a parent I have learned many things I didn’t know. I feel more comfortable asking questions now, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

What is one thing you would like people to know about the Weinberg family CP Center and Dr. Hyman? 

Well, it’s really hard for me to find the exact or perfect words to express how David and I feel about Dr. Hyman. All I can say is that I’m so thankful for everything the WFCPC and Dr. Hyman has done for David and we are so grateful to have Dr. Hyman in our lives the last 15+ years. He’s the best doctor and human being and we love him!!

What does David like to do in his free time?

In his free time, David, who was told he would never walk in his life, is thriving in Basketball and doing everything he wants now, whether it is working out or dancing he doesn’t complain about the braces he has to wear it’s a part of his normal. “You can tell him you can’t do this and he will figure out a way to do it,” said mom Lorena.

Click to read his full patient story!