Jackson Martin Comes Back as a Champion! 1

Back to Baseball After Perthes Disease Diagnosis

As I sit at Jackson’s physical therapy appointment, I can’t help but think sometimes words aren’t enough to adequately describe feelings. When Jackson was diagnosed with Perthes disease right before his sixth birthday, we were taken off guard. We adjusted our lifestyle to the situation and set our course for getting through to the other side.

In the early days, we had to go to school with Jack and help manage. In the early days, we had to make everything wheelchair accessible. Then, he got out of his cast and got into his “Forest Gump” brace. All along the way, Jackson never complained, and he never let himself get down. All he really wanted to do was play baseball again. We told Jack to focus on getting to 8; we thought that by then he might be able to play.

Little did we know the ride that we would be taken on with baseball as the vehicle. Last spring, his doctor agreed to let Jack play if I would coach and monitor/limit his activity. Watching him limp around the field was a joyful experience for everyone, and just what our little man needed. After games we would hip massage, Advil, cry, take hot baths, but baseball was the constant.

As we came into this year, we found out that he had 60 percent bone regeneration in his hip. We saw quicker movements, less pain, more running. Again the constant in all this was baseball.

Then came his 8-year-old baseball season … crazy. Jackson worked with his buddies at Smyrna and played baseball every day for nearly six weeks as they pursued their goal of winning state together. Lo and behold, these boys did it, and Jack’s 8-year-old baseball season didn’t just end with him finally getting to play after going through Perthes—he got to be a part of the state champion 8U Smyrna Blue team.

Jackson and his family are featured on this month’s cover.