Sterling is a happy 6-month-old baby boy who loves his big sister, Raina, and always has a smile on his face.
Sterling was born with a rare and serious form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele.
This condition caused a sac of fluid containing part of his spinal cord and nerves to develop outside his body on his lower back.
Twelve hours after being born, Sterling went in for a 3-hour long surgery that addressed the fluid sac and closed an exposed area on his back.
Sterling was also born with hydrocephalus. The surgery caused his head to swell even more, so doctors surgically placed a permanent shunt in his head that allows the fluid to drain into his abdominal cavity.
Sterling also has a condition called Chiari malformation, which causes his skull to be misshapen and to press against his brain. This can ultimately cause cognitive issues and problems with motor functions.
Doctors are still monitoring Sterling to see what long-term effects his conditions may have on him. He is projected to undergo at least 20 surgeries during his lifetime. These surgeries will address his tethered spine, nerve damage to his ankles, and his clubbed right foot, among others.
Sterling will be adopted as the Sparrow to McLoughlin Middle School. MAC students will work hard to earn money for Sterling through sponsored community service.