Surviving open-heart surgery is a miracle. Now imagine surviving three operations before the age of five. That is how life began for one Ashford teenager, but he didn’t let surgeries or learning disabilities slow him down.
Meet Jamie Beasley.
“He can tell anything he can tell you what day you were born on, how old you are, you can give him a year and say can you make me a calendar for 2050 and he can make you an entire calendar, everyday would be right,” said Jamie’s Special Education Teacher, Karen Cook.
But Jamie’s life wasn’t always about impressing his classmates and teachers with his quirky skills.
“Well up until he was four years old he couldn't roll over by himself,” explained Jamie’s grandmother, Kay Beasley. “He couldn't hold a bottle by himself.”
Beasley was born with a rare disorder called Situs Inversus. All of his organs were inverted. Doctors didn’t think he would live past the age of four. He had to undergo three open-heart surgeries.
“After the third surgery, you know most people when they have heart surgery they just lay around for a week or two, Jamie took off walking, he never even crawled. He went from almost a vegetable state to almost normal,” said Kay.
But the health problems don’t stop there; Jamie faces another kind of challenge. He has two types of autism, but that doesn’t slow him down.
“When a child is doing something wrong he is going to say 'no, come here, get in line, so you don't get in trouble',” explained Cook. “He keeps his friends; he doesn't want anyone to get in trouble. He wants to please everybody; he is a very big pleaser he wants you to be happy with everything he does.”
Plus he has a kind heart.
“He’s real happy like if he sees you doing something he will volunteer to help you do it. He’s not, there’s not a stingy bone in his body I mean he would give you anything,” said Kay.
And just like any other 17-year-old, he has big future plans.
“Our current goals are to work on driver’s education with him. He is going to work on getting his driver’s license and working at a job,” said Cook.
Jamie will walk with the Ashford High School 2015 graduating class. He will continue his education with the state until he is 21-years-old.