Like most young boys, nine-year-old Deven Jackson of Shermans Dale, Perry County was getting pretty dirty while playing in his backyard the night we visited him.
But unlike most young boys, Deven recently took his first steps since losing both his feet after defeating a potentially deadly and rare form of meningitis.
“I wanted to do a good job so I could make my mom cry,” Deven told us.
He did, and yes, she did.
“I don't know if I could have words for it. I was just speechless,” said Michelle Jackson of her son's effort. “That day was amazing. Best day ever to see Deven walk again.”
Michelle said Deven was relieved to find out he wasn't going to die. And as far as the challenges after that, you'd think it was difficult, but you just don't get that impression when you look at Deven's face.
“He has so much determination, to him it's nothing,” Michelle said. “He just puts on the prosthetics and walks. He wasn't really excited or nervous about it.”
Deven tried out the prosthetics when he walked at the Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia. He's going to go back there in a couple of weeks to get his permanent prosthetics and he's pretty keyed up about the designs that will be on them.
“I'm going to have flames on my legs and on June 12th I go to Shriner's again,” he said.
“He just always takes it with a smile,” said Michelle. “He just does what he has to do and goes on.”
We also talked with Sam Lowe, of Maverick Custom Homes, who is going to lead an effort to build the Jackson's a new handicapped-accessible home for Deven.
Lowe's is looking for volunteers and donations of building materials. You can go to their website to learn more.