Woman told she would never walk, talk defies the odds with faith (+video)

Published: Monday, May 20 2013 3:05 p.m. MDT

Moving Forward with cerebral palsy

Cassi Baird wasn't supposed to walk. She wasn't supposed to talk. She wasn't even supposed to be able to turn her head.

But Baird has spent the past 26 years of her life defying the odds by doing everything from walking to earning a master's degree in social work. Determined that she is on the earth for a reason, Baird continues to look forward and spread a message of hope.

"We were given the opportunity to come to earth, and if we're not doing anything, if we're just sitting around, then we're wasting our time, and we're not sharing the gifts we were given," Baird said. "We may have to figure out a different way to do it, but if you don't try, you're going to regret not doing it."

In a new video featured on an uplifting website, Forward Walking, Baird, along with her parents, share the miraculous story of her life. In the video they explain that Baird was born 10 weeks early with underdeveloped lungs, and a lack of oxygen to her brain resulted in Baird developing cerebral palsy.

The first miracle for Baird came when she was a new infant, struggling to survive. Baird's father, Scott Baird, had been told there were high risks during the delivery and while his wife Lisa would be fine, his new child would not make it through the night.

In the video, Lisa Baird described her memory of reaching out to the doctor in desperation, demanding that her husband be allowed to give her baby a blessing.

"There were so many wires in her head and in her heart, on her legs and feet, that you could hardly see her," Scott Baird described in the video. "The doctor came in and he said to the group, 'This is her father, he wants to give her her last rites.' … I said, 'Can I touch her?' And he said, 'Sure.'

"So I went ahead and put my hands on her head, and as I went to do that, all the instruments went flat line, and all the bells and alarms went off as if she had died. And when that happened the doctors just sort of stood back, it was like the parting of the Red Sea, they just sort of stood back and I walked in. I just remember giving her a blessing, and as I stood and was doing that, all the machines lit up again, and the doctor pushed me away and he said, 'Your God's done his thing; now it's our turn.’ ”

From then on, Cassi Baird would encounter endless challenges. Her parents were told that if she remained alive, she would never walk, have no use of her arms and possibly never have a coherent thought. Ultimately the doctors recommended that her life be terminated.

"That's just kind of been the whole history with Cassi," Scott Baird said in the video. "Everyone has constantly told us and told her, 'You can't do that.' And it's almost that she could hear them saying, 'No, you're not going to make it through the night,' and she would say, 'Oh yeah, I'll show you.' … There's just been this competitive battle with the whole medical industry, and she just continues to defy."

As long as she can remember, Cassi Baird has known about the miracles that took place when she was born.

"My parents have told me this story, that I was in the hospital and one of the nurses told my mom, 'You know, she's not even going to be able to turn her head.' And my mom said at that exact moment, I looked at the nurse and I turned my head," Baird said. "So you know, it's just been that way from the beginning of my life."

Baird was born in New York and lived there with her family until they moved to Provo, Utah. While she knew she had limitations that her brothers and sister didn't deal with, Baird felt like a normal child.

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