5 Year Old with Spina Bifida Walks for the First Time at His Preschool Graduation: 'I Did It!'
"Right after, he said, 'I did it!' " Megan Mompher recalls of her 5-year-old son Blake
Blake Mompher’s family hoped the 5 year old with Spina bifida would be able to walk by the start of the school year, but health complications set the preschooler back.
The Ohio family was in for a pleasant surprise on May 11, when Blake walked across the stage at his preschool graduation.
“I cried as soon as I saw him walk out on stage,” Blake’s mother, Megan Mompher, tells PEOPLE. “He’s been through a lot of medical trauma, and to watch him overcome it all and walk so determined on that stage, I’ve never been more proud of him. He’s pretty amazing.”
The family shared a video of the Crosswood UMC Preschool graduation ceremony in Marion. In the clip, Blake is shown smiling wide as a staff member presented him with a medal and certificate and the crowd cheered for him. The video has been viewed more than 15,000 times.
“None of his classmates had seem him walk before, so to see their reactions was so awesome,” says Megan, 34. “Everyone stood up and gave him a standing ovation. Nothing like it.”
Blake’s father, 40-year-old Aric Mompher, adds: “To see the looks on his friends’ faces was incredible! We’re just very thankful for the little wins since he’s spent so much time at the hospital. It’s nice for us to be able to enjoy our child and his triumphs instead of worrying about him in the hospital.”
Megan and Aric, who have three other children, learned that Blake has Spina bifida when she was 20 weeks pregnant, according to Good Morning America. Blake has always used a wheelchair but has recently been practicing steps with a walker.
Megan says Blake had surgery in November and had to stay in the hospital for over a month. As they worked with his therapist in the weeks leading up to the graduation, she “realized he could do it!”
“I was nervous about it but also so excited,” she says of the big moment.
The family shares updates about Blake’s health journey on a Facebook page called “Team Blake.” As for the little boy, Megan says he can’t help but smile when he thinks of his milestone.
“Right after, he said, ‘I did it!’ ” Megan recalls, adding that Blake was “very proud” of himself. “He’s always been kinda freaked out over that stage, and the fact that he came out smiling was pretty surprising. You can tell how proud he was.”