A 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy has gone viral after his mom shared a video of his first steps after surgery. However, this isn't the first time Merick Williams Jr. — aka MJ — has overcome the odds.
In 2018, MJ inspired people across the country when he made a touchdown during his little league football game. In the video, MJ's coach is seen helping him into the end zone as his team cheered him on.
"If you would have saw the look on his face when he crossed the goal line, it was amazing," the team's head coach Jamar Martin told CBS affiliate WAFB-TV at the time. "Everybody was there to cheer him on. The fans in the stands were cheering him on. The moment was priceless."
The Hawks little league football team in Greensburg, Louisiana, strives to make sure each of its players, including MJ, is treated with respect, Martin said. "I've coached a lot of Hawks, but I've never coached a warrior until MJ," he said.
Now MJ has reached a major milestone: About two months after undergoing surgery on his tendon, MJ took his first steps without using his walker.
His mom, Kayla Nichols, posted the video on Facebook. "His recovery was a tough process to get through but it was all worth it," Nichols wrote. "We been through a lot to even get to this point, never gave up on him, even when times did get rough and I never will! A true definition of a Miracle Baby!"
MJ was born at just 23 weeks, weighing only 1 lb., 4 oz. according to WAFB.
"I'm so bless to be your mom and I wouldn't change it for anything!" Nichols' post continued. "I'm just sooo proud of him!! Words can't even explain."
Nichols said the future is bright for her son. "He's going to be playing baseball this spring and we couldn't be more excited for everything he's doing," his mom said, according to WAFB.
Doctors anticipate MJ will be able to walk fully on his own sometime in the future, WAFB reports.
"Yes, his doctors do predict that he will function fully without his walker, but his biggest problem is that he is afraid to fall," Nichols said. "The main goal is to continue to keep weight on his legs and make sure he is very active because if not, his legs will tighten again."