After several agonizing months at Rady Children’s Hospital, Izaiah Wallis is finally going home after being hit by a drunk driver last year.
"We tell him all the time, we are taking him home. I don't know if he knows the meaning of 'home'. It's going to be tough," said father Jacob Wallis.
Izaiah was in a stroller being pushed by his grandfather, when an SUV plowed into them on a sidewalk in Oceanside on Oct. 18, 2010. The 17-year old driver was drunk and the accident left Izaiah paralyzed and blind.
Izaiah, now two years old, is scheduled to go home Tuesday afternoon. But he still has a long road of recovery ahead, according to his family.
"We still have a long road ahead of us. I mean, we pretty much jumped one hurdle and we're onto the next one," said Wallis.
“Although Izaiah has made progress, he remains paralyzed from the chest down, suffers from brain damage, has a feeding tube due to inability to swallow as well as a catheter,” said family spokesperson Linda Schwartz-Van Kessler.
Izaiah is still breathing through a tracheotomy and ventilator.
“His long-term recovery is unknown at this time,” said Schwartz-Van Kessler. “The transition of Izaiah to home has been long-awaited by his entire family but will not be without challenges.”
Izaiah needs 24 hour care. His parents have been certified by the hospital after intense training, according to Schwartz-Van Kessler.
“A new home is desperately needed to accommodate his wheelchair and other special needs, a handicapped van is needed to transport him around, and he will require comprehensive physical and occupational therapy for the foreseeable future,” she said.
The family says Izaiah will live in a temporary home until the remaining $38,000 is raised to purchase a properly equipped home.
“Dr. Dennis Maness, founder of Brain Tek Institute, a San Diego-based brain research facility who has assisted thousands of people to regain the use of their limbs, will be donating his services to work extensively with baby Izaiah on an out-patient basis,” said Schwartz-Van Kessler.
"It's the best feeling in the world to know we still have him. We can get smiles out of him and that's what keeps us going," said Wallis.
Anyone wishing to donate to help the family can do so at www.passion4kids.com.