House debates

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Statements by Members

Rigby, Mr Flynn

1:46 pm

Photo of Warren EntschWarren Entsch (Leichhardt, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to pay tribute to a brave young lad living in my electorate. Flynn Rigby and his twin brother, Jack, arrived in this world 16-weeks premature. Flynn weighed 720 grams and Jack was only 630 grams. Sadly, Jack didn't make it. He passed away after only 10 days. But Flynn survived, and went home after 112 gruelling days in hospital. Due to his extremely premature birth and a significant brain injury sustained from it, Flynn faced very long-term challenges. MRI results showed lesions to the cerebellum and areas of the brain that did not fully develop due to his early arrival, leaving Flynn with a mild cerebral palsy, developmental delays, motor skills difficulties, sensory dysfunction issues and intellectual impairment.

At the age of three, Flynn was given a primary diagnosis of autism and, at the age of nine, Flynn still remained non-verbal. His parents' greatest wish was to hear him speak. In 2011 and 2014, Flynn received stem cell treatment in China and Thailand which produced amazing results. Flynn spoke his first words ever on New Year's Day 2012 and has been progressing ever since. Flynn is now 15 and in high school. He'll be travelling to Thailand again for another round of stem cell treatment this year, and I wanted to take this opportunity to wish Flynn and his family all the very best and all the success in this next treatment. (Time expired)