There is still a long road ahead, but Jessica Lange is hopeful her precious little boy will go from strength to strength after he nearly drowned in a pool at his day-care centre in Saldanha Bay on the Cape West Coast.
Jessica (29) says while she knows the way forward is going to be challenging, one-year-old JD is a real little fighter.
New video footage shows how JD is able to move his neck and lift his head to laugh at the camera – something he’d been unable to do until recently.
Jessica, who started dating Marcelle Etsebeth (25) five months ago, says her girlfriend and her two boys, Jaco (eight months) and AJ (4), are playing an integral part in JD’s recovery.
“He can’t get enough of his brothers. AJ has learnt to hold JD and support his neck nicely.
“Marcelle feeds him his porridge in the morning and for lunch he eats Purity. He’s a happy little guy. When I walk towards him, he holds up his arms up.”
JD was pronounced clinically dead after falling into the pool but doctors managed to resuscitate him. Jessica believes he will recover fully in time. “My boy’s eyes – I can see my little guy is in there,” she says.
The little boy had a breathing tube in his trachea for several months but it was removed in July and he returned to creche.
“After four months at home I had to go back to work,” says Jessica, who is a sales assistant at a store in Saldanha. “The first day he went back to day-care was scary but after that I was okay again.”
Marcelle is helping a lot with JD’s rehabilitation and exercises. In one video taken on the beach, JD is standing upright between her feet and legs.
“He sleeps with us at night,” Jessica says. “If we struggle to wake up in the morning, he’ll talk to us with these babbling sounds.”
JD’s grandmother, Kowie Lange, is also hoping the little boy will recover.
“I’m not strong enough to pick him up but I hold him on my lap and soothe him to sleep,” she says. “The Lord will help us.”