Teenager with rare form of epilepsy says first word

Local News

A 14-year-old boy from Davenport with a rare form of epilepsy said his first words during the pandemic.

Ryan, along with the help of his mother Tina McDermott, worked for the past 10 weeks for him to say ‘momma.’

With his diagnosis of dravet syndrome, doctors said he wouldn’t be able to walk or talk. So when he said those words, his mother was in tears.

“Well I cried, a lot of people cried. I mean that’s all I ever wanted,” Tina said. I’ve said it from, I don’t know how long just they say he probably would never walk or talk and I just said gosh I would just love him to say momma I mean just to hear his voice and so yeah I’ve shed a lot of tears.”

A speech therapist is helping Ryan learn more words. Next up – learning to say dad.

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