Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion



Phillip Anthony Golmon better known as Philly came into this world 4 pounds and 10 ounces. Before he was born his mother Kerri had an ultra sound and we knew their was a problem with his brain we just didn’t know what. As soon as he was born the doctor’s immediately ordered an MRI and he was diagnosed with Dandy Walker Syndrome.

Dandy Walker Syndrome is a congenital brain malformation involving the cerebellum and the fluid filled spaces around it. The key features are an enlargement of the fourth ventricle of the brain. Symptoms include slow motor development and progressive enlargement of the skull caused by fluid which sometimes requires a shunt. Philly was very lucky and has never had a problem with fluid. He was later diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, which is another neurological disorder caused by by non progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs when a child’s brain is underdeveloped. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects the body movement and muscle coordination.

He has over come many obstacles since he was born. Philly’s first surgery was on his eyes. He could not see out of both eyes at the same time. Once his eyes were fixed he began physical therapy at 9 months old through a program called First Steps. Philly did not began walking as a normal child at a year old. He made up for it in crawling. He basically crawled faster than any child I have ever seen. He would run on his hands and feet. He began walking with a walker and like he does anything he was running with it in no time. Philly was referred to the Shriner’s hospital in Tampa where he was fitted for braces to help with his balance and gait.  Another area that was affected was his speech. He did not talk we had to communicate through sign language for the first few years of his life. He began school at age 3, Philly has speech every day so he is getting better every day in his verbal communication. After going to pre-K for 3 years he finally has begun in regular classes with extra help. Philly is now in the 3rd grade. He loves school. His favorite subjects are spelling and math. He takes pride and studies hard for his spelling test each week, a miracle he brings home A’s! We never knew if he would be able to accomplish tasks like a spelling tests. Phillip will never be a normal child in school but he will always do whatever is in front of him to the best of his ability.



His personality lights up the room. Everyone he comes in contact with loves and adores him. Philly doesn’t know negativity. The worst thing he experiences is he can’t get the toy he wants. He will tell you your mean then. Philly has participated in Tops Soccer for Special Needs for the last 5 years. He loves playing soccer. He loves field day at his school. This year he won the relay race for his class. He may have disabilities but he is as fast as lightning. Another miracle happened this year for him. He began playing basketball. He loves it. All he wanted for Christmas  was a basketball goal. Philly practices and does everything 100 percent. He just had his first game and he did awesome.


I am proud to call him my nephew. He has changed our whole family. When Philly is around everyone is happy. He is the most loving, caring and unselfish human being I have ever met. He has taught us all about gratitude, perseverance and unconditional love. I got a letter in the mail a few years back which is my most cherished possession : A True Miracle!!

TE TE                                                     philly-letter

Thank you for all my toys.

I love you with all my heart










2 comments on “OUR MIRACLE CHILD

  1. Tulane VISTA
    January 26, 2017

    Congrats, you have the blog that has received the most views of any article ever posted in this blog; EVER!!!!!!!!!

  2. Tulane VISTA
    January 24, 2017

    That was a really powerful story, well written and illustrated. Thanks for sharing.

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on January 24, 2017 by in VISTA Field Reports.



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