LITTLE ROCK, AR -- An Arkansas family had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday. Not only is their miracle son turning 1, but they also received another miracle on a cold November night. Their wish was a new set of wheels, and it couldn't have come at a more crucial time.
Allen Shimkus has come a long way in his young life.
"We were actually told the baby wasn't going to survive and I that I was going to miscarry," Juliene Shimkus said.
Shimkus learned early on in her pregnancy her unborn baby boy suffered from two neurological disorders, Hydrocephalus and Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum. Part of his brain did not develop.
"It was pretty hard to deal with because I didn't understand what it was and I thought people don't live without parts of their brain," she said.
A tiny Allen entered the world on Nov. 26, 2012.The Shimkus family knew their son would face challenges, but his prognosis was unclear.
"They said either he will be bed ridden and he won't be able to do anything or he'll live a normal life," Shimkus said. "So, the odds have been against him since he's been born."
Allen is now meeting major milestones, thanks to the early intervention he's received at Kidspiration in Mountain Home.
"When he first started, he could do nothing. He's rolling over now, onto his tummy now, he's lifting himself up," explained Misty Dwyer, head teacher at Kidspiration.
Even with the rigors of therapy, up to five hours a day, Allen’s personality still shines.
"Allen is such a sweet little boy. He makes everyone smile when he comes in the room," said Leah Colman, Kidspiration Director/Director.
While his therapy is close to home, his doctors are not. That means multiple trips a month to Central Arkansas in their 21 year-old vehicle.
"He could have the best treatment in Little Rock, but I have to say no because I don't want to drive and especially with the inclement weather right now, it's a shame," Shimkus said.
But thanks to Steve Landers Toyota and Gulf States Toyota, the Shimkus family's stress over car trouble will be in the rear view mirror.
This family will now ride safe and in style in a brand new car, so Allen can develop and thrive just like any child his age.
Wednesday is another big day for the Shimkus family, as Allen begins the first of many surgeries ahead of him at Children's Hospital.
Also on KARK 4 Today Wednesday morning, we sit down with the man behind Miracle Makers, Steve Landers. Find out what drove this father and grandfather to use his successful business to bless others this holiday season.