Paxton’s Path to Independence

At five years old, Paxton’s smile serves as his superpower, radiating joy despite facing intense challenges starting at the very beginning of his life. Born weighing just 5 lbs. 3 oz at full term, Paxton was immediately admitted into the NICU. Just three weeks later, he battled sepsis and was hospitalized yet again.

Ashleigh, Paxton’s mom, also noticed delays in his developmental progress and his struggle to sit up on his own. Following numerous medical procedures, neurology appointments, and genetic testing, doctors diagnosed Paxton with a rare mitochondrial disease, making him one of 33 in the entire world.

Paxton’s movement is limited, forcing him to crawl, scoot, or rely on others to move around. Although both a wheelchair and a walker were prescribed to assist him, insurance would only cover a wheelchair. Understanding the importance of Paxton’s mobility, Ashleigh turned to Variety.

Variety provided Paxton with a gait trainer, granting him more opportunities for independence and freedom to make his own choices. “Four years of his life has been on his hands and knees getting around. Now he can use his walker to get around independently and won’t have to rely on somebody steering him,” notes Ashleigh.

As Paxton just graduated preschool, they are working on building up his endurance so he can confidently navigate the kindergarten classroom in the fall. Ashleigh has no issue convincing Paxton to work towards this goal.

With a newfound sense of independence, Paxton can now become more engaged with his favorite activities, such as hanging out with the neighbors in their cul-de-sac. Instead of watching from a distance, Paxton can go on walks with his friends and be actively involved in adventures.

“The kids love seeing Paxton. He has been able to be more social already, and he loves showing off his new skills. This gives him so much confidence, and as a parent that’s incredible to watch,” shares Ashleigh.

Variety’s medical equipment programs ensure each child has the necessary tools to fully access their world and never feel left behind. This is only made possible by those who believe in Variety’s mission.

Give a Variety Kid like Paxton the gift of mobility and independence today!


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