Moberly student a "hero" as he tackles cerebral palsy

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MOBERLY - Tina Fisher knows her son is one of a kind for all he has been through in the past.

"I often tell Corey that he is my hero," she said.

Yet Corey Fisher, a freshman at Moberly High School, wants to be more than just a hero for his mother.

"I'm eventually wanting to go into the army after I get out of high school, because that's what I've always dreamed about, " he said.

Corey was born a triplet, along with his siblings Elizabeth and Jacob. However, he stayed at the hospital one month after his brother and sister were released. When he was just six months old, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. 

"We noticed that his thumbs would curl in his hand, which is typically a sign of that," said Matt Fisher, Corey's father.

Corey began taking speech therapy at a young age, but the amount of hospital visits only increased with his age. At five years old, he underwent a dorsal rhizotomy, a five-hour operation which cut nerves in his spinal column to alleviate pressure. When he was nine, both of his femurs were purposely broken and adjusted. Currently, the 15-year-old has had nine surgeries performed on him, the latest about two years ago.

"He had a six-hour surgery, and his legs were totally immobilized for a stint of 54 days in the hospital," Tina Fisher said.

The surgery, at Ranken Jordan Hospital in St. Louis, required his femurs to once again be broken and repositioned. His kneecaps were taken off and lowered, enabling Corey's legs to be straighter. What nobody expected though, was how quickly he wanted to prove he could recover.

"The doctors told us that there was no timetable for his recovery," Matt Fisher said. "And the first day that he was able to walk instead of just stand up, it was amazing."

Corey does physical therapy with Kristie Wright at MU Children's Hospital once a week. She said he has progressed tremendously.  

"When he first came to me, he wasn't walking a ton," she said. "Now Corey can stand independently for a long time, and he has definitely put in the time."

While being able to walk alone with his canes has always been a goal of his, there is one aspiration that drives him: the outdoors.

Corey is an avid hunter and fisher and participates in sports for the Challenger Division of Little League Baseball

When asked about the most notable improvement since his surgery two years ago, Corey quickly pointed out that he can do more when it comes to hunting.

"I'm able to stand better so that I can climb into tree stands," he said.

Corey was also able to stand at the top of his class in January, after his classmates voted him as a freshman representative in the school's Winter Homecoming court. 

"I was completely surprised by that, but everybody loves Corey," Tina Fisher said. " He's pretty popular."