The soul of Nigel Davis lives

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2003

A small child sits in between his mother and father. His inability to walk freely doesn’t make him unique, but his peculiar countenance and refreshing persona does. He is only six years old and has had multiple surgeries, a number of physical abnormalities and lacks the motor capabilities of children his age.

His maturity is quite impressive and his affection for his parents is overtly obvious. He respects them, and there is no contradiction of the love they have for their son. But how could one not love him, his deep dark eyes, warm brown skin and his personable smile, makes one wonder how someone with so many challenges, maintain such pristine demeanor.

Perhaps that is the beauty of life; there are many things that remain alive, after we assume they have withered away. The soul lives.

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And indeed the soul of young Nigel Davis lives. He was born two months prematurely, with cerebral palsy, a disease that attacks the central nervous system, altering motor and speech. Although, he is through with the bulk of his surgeries, he is continuing to work on his motor skills development. Nigel remains ‘humble and happy’ said his mother Donna Davis. He was in a wheelchair at on point in his life, but with the answers of prayers, a supportive medical team and familial encouragement, Nigel is walking with help and has since learned to climb stairs.

Each year during the Christmas on the River festivities, a child who has endured a traumatic experience or has mental or physical disability is honored with the Special Child on the River honor. The child will have the opportunity to be a special guest at both the day and night parades. Nigel is extremely excited.

His little body has endured more than most adults. Nigel Davis, impressively so, is mature and dignified as he proclaims, ‘I want to be a scientist." The Westside Elementary, first grader is an A honor roll student, wants to "create things." One keen apparatus he hopes to create is a robot, he says" that can do anything." He lacks the motor capabilities but his mind is fine. The proof is in the distinguished report card. His favorite subject is reading, and his mother proudly boasts, "He is an independent reader."

It’s evident that Nigel has inherited his self-confidence and security from his parents. Henry and Donna Davis both remain faithfully dedicated to his efforts to improve his health. There was never a doubt in their mind that they would give up on young Nigel; she affirms, "Miracles still exist." Indeed, the improvement he has made is truly a miracle.

Watching Nigel endure a number of surgeries was difficult for his family. His father confessed, "I could never stand to see him connected to all those tubes… but he always pulled through."

With the Christmas season approaching, Little Nigel knows what he wants for Christmas. With a few moments to ponder, he finally comes up with a list ranging from video games to a remote control car.

He also enjoys playing, but most of all basketball. When asked which is his favorite NBA team, he replies without hesitation. "I like Kobe." He later confessed without hesitation, "I am an Alabama fan."

His little sister is supportive and tries delicately to be like "mommy" to Nigel. But he sternly maintains his role as big brother. He reluctantly allows her to take control.

His favorite color is red, a color that signifies power and strength. This is clearly the perfect color to describe his character. "He was motivated and willing since day one, " said his father. "He is of great character…he is more focused than us, " his mother adds.

To someone outside, Nigel is a child born to a bad circumstance, but to his family he is a blessing and to the community he is truly a miniature hero. To endure life challenges an adult man would give up, Nigel Davis endured.