Jessica Jobe - Texas
"I was determined to find anything I could to help me become the mom I'd always dreamt of being"
"Kids don't need working legs, they need a working heart."
Jessica Jobe had always dreamed of becoming a mom one day, so when baby Charleigh came along, her heart was overjoyed. Being paraplegic from the age of 9, Jessica had always defied the odds by engaging in activities like jet skiing, riding 4-wheelers, and fishing. She and her friends would even use her old manual wheelchairs to play and roll around the neighborhood, so it was no surprise when this ambitious young woman defied the odds as an adult and became a mom.
Jessica has always refused to let her disability define her, so when she became pregnant, she was determined to find anything she could to help her be the mom she had always dreamed of. Because she was seated low in a wheelchair, she encountered various challenges. Concerns of how she would carry a baby while moving around the house, find a safe place to change her baby, and reach her baby in a crib were just a few of the major challenges coming her way.
Unfortunately, as many new parents with disabilities realize, there are not many baby products on the market that are designed with a wheelchair-using parent in mind. One of Jessica’s biggest challenges was safely transferring baby Charleigh in and out of a crib. She was seated too low for safe access. Using a Pack-n-Play was not a viable option either, as she needed both hands to lower and lift her baby, and risked falling forward in the process. She desperately needed to find a solution, as being able to independently take care of her daughter was her heart’s desire.
After many months of looking for solutions, Jessica’s world changed for the better when a friend tagged her on a social media post showing a video of a Pedialift crib. After researching the Pedialift crib and the company, Jessica decided to move forward with obtaining one. “I decided to go with the Pedialift crib because it really was the only crib out there for parents with disabilities, and it appeared to be very safe and sturdy,” Jessica explained.
Soon after, Jessica began corresponding with Pedialift, and the company advocated on her behalf by submitting her insurance claim and conducted multiple appeals until her insurance company agreed to purchase the Pedialift crib for Jessica.
“The Pedialift team really fought for me so I didn’t have to do a whole lot on my own,” Jessica describes the insurance approval process.
The Pedialift crib has served as a highlight in Jessica’s ability to be an independent parent to her daughter. It allows her to put Charleigh to bed when it’s naptime or bedtime, and pick her up again when she is done sleeping. The crib lifts allow her to raise and lower it to just the right height at just the right time. The sliding front doors allow her to safely reach in and access her baby without having to lean forward.
“The Pedialift is an amazing invention that allowed me, as a paraplegic mom, to be as independent as I wanted to be. I don’t mind asking for help, and it doesn’t make me any less of a mom to have extra help, but being able to put my daughter to bed at night or change her diaper on my own are all small victories that the Pedialift crib helped make happen for us,” Jessica says.
Charleigh is now a thriving toddler who loves to go shopping, ride her 4-wheeler, watch the cows out in the pasture, and play with her little dog Lyla. While she keeps her mama very busy, Jessica says she wouldn’t trade it for the world.
To future paraplegic parents contemplating whether or not to have a child, Jessica has this to say: “Kids don’t need working legs, they need a working heart! No matter what your disability is, just remember, your heart is most important.”