CAPTION: The parents of a two-year-old with cerebral palsy credit an unconventional Canadian doctor with giving them hope for their son.
Neonatologist Dr. Karen Pape outlines her ideas about recovering from brain damage in a new book.
21, 2016) 1.
SOUNDBITE: Dr. Karen Pape, neonatalologist 2.
SOUNDBITE: Steve Pankratz, Jack's father 3.
SOUNDBITE: Karen Kucher, Jacks' mother PLACELINE: Toronto CREDIT: The Canadian Press STORYLINE: Just sitting upright is a battle for two-year-old Jack Pankratz, and so his mother Kim Kucher offers a steady hand and lots of encouragement.
The unsteady toddler wobbles even in her arms, as he sways this way and that to look up at the ceiling or yank the corrective glasses off his head.
Jack was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at nine months — the result of a difficult birth in which he suffered oxygen loss to the brain.
Doctors predicted permanent cognitive and physical disabilities.
More than a year later, Kucher says he's already defying the odds with typical babbling and the abilitya daily routine of barrel rolls, walking drills and core strength exercises.
She credits this in large part to unconventional brain expert and neonatologist Dr. Karen Pape, who gave her something no other medical expert could: Hope.
"With some of the medical opinions we were getting it sort of seemed doom-and-gloom for Jack," says Kucher.
"And we're parents that aren't just going to settle for that."