Doctors told Chelsi Crawford that her son Jazz Scott, who was born with a severe genetic condition called Trisomy 18, would likely be a vegetable.
People with Trisomy 18 are born with three copies of chromosome 18 instead of the usual two. According to Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, symptoms include severe intellectual disability, low birth weight, congenital heart defects, and various abnormalities of other organs.
“With Jazz, we were not sure he would ever communicate or show emotions,” Crawford told Southern Living. “We didn't know whether or not he could hear or how well his vision was.”
Due to his condition, Jazz spent 472 days at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
“We thought that having a TV in his room would basically be for us,” Crawford recalled of Jazz’s turning point. “We tried PBS shows and he didn't seem to connect.”
Then one evening, Golden Girls was playing.
“The first thing we notice was him turning his head and body towards the television. Although he had been working with physical therapy, he had never done this unassisted,” Crawford said. “I turned the television back over to his bed and for the first time, he smiled, cooed and laughed. We could actually hear his voice.”
The next morning, when the episodes ran again, Jazz repeated the same behavior.
“He started smiling after that,” Crawford told Good Morning America, adding that it’s the only show he likes.
She thinks Jazz enjoys the sound of the Golden Girls’ voices and the show’s low-fi color and video.
No matter the reason, one thing’s for sure: Jazz is a super fan.
“His care team knew how much he loved it, and the nurses made sure he watched every time it was on,” Crawford said.
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“I know it sounds corny, but I try to see the funny side and the upside, not the downside.”
Jazz is now at home, and thanks to Hulu, he’s able to watch his favorite show all the time. And with help from his favorite ladies, he continues to beat the odds.
“He ‘talks’ and babbles while it plays and sometimes, we think, he hums during the opening theme,” Crawford said. “He loves those ladies; he recognizes them and gives hope.”
“Our babies need extra attention and interventions initially, but there truly is no limit to what they can do once they get it,” she continued. “Jazz was able to do so much and the happiness he gets from those ladies is priceless.”