Local boy becomes inspiration after his miraculous steps to recovery

Parents initially told it could take 6 months to see small signs of progress

DETROIT – One brave little boy seems to be beating the odds after a life changing surgery.

It has been both a heartbreaking and inspiring journey for his family and doctors. On Tuesday, they shared video of his first steps with Local 4 News.

It’s a moment they’ll never forget.

When Gabe Palazollo was born he had no issues, but as the child neared the one year mark, his mother noticed something.

“I noticed that his legs were different,” said the mother, April Palazzolo.

The boy’s family father also noticed something.

“His legs were very tight and we brought it up to a pediatrician. He wasn’t taking the initiative to walk,” said Manny Palazzolo, the boy’s father.

The eventual diagnosis, cerebral palsy.

In January, the boy looked like a great candidate at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan for a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy. Basically the spine is opened and the affected nerves are identified and amputated away.

The parents were told it could take a minimum of 6 months to see even small signs of progress.

Unable to understand the charts and the prognosis and trajectory and all the words the adults use to figure out what is next, the child figured it out on his own.

“He crawled over to his walker and we were blown away,” said the mother.

The boy even had doctors surprised.

“I’m walking down the hallway and he’s waving at me. I had to take a double take,” said Dr. Neena Marupudi, a pediatric neurosurgeon

The 3-year-old taught the adults a thing or two.

Now actually he’s become my inspiration,” said Marupudi.

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