JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The One Spark idea festival in downtown Jacksonville has 500 inventors from the U.S. and 16 countries around the world, but one participant is hoping he'll stand out in the crowd and get your vote. It's all about Baby Adam. His adoptive mother is from Jacksonville, a Stanton High and FSU grad.
Jessica Cooksey Paulraj is serving now as a nurse in India at a Christian missionary hospital. She's married to a psychiatrist, Raja Paulraj. At the hospital the couple met Baby Adam, a little boy born with severe deformities.
He had no eyelids, no nose, a severe facial cleft, and his legs were fused above the knee and amputated below the knee. He has no hands and just one nub of a finger.
The hospital got a notice from the baby's uncle saying if the baby were sent home, his biological family would kill him with poison.
Jessica said people saw Baby Adam as a "curse."
But she and her husband fell in love with him. They took him home and adopted him.
Now he's begun a series of operations at UNC Chapel Hill in North Carolina. The doctors are donating their services, but the hospital bills this summer are supposed to total around $175,000.
Baby Adam's grandma, Theresa Cooksey, lives in the San Jose area of Jacksonville. She said her family has a lot of faith in God and they see His hand in every step of this journey with Baby Adam.
She said at first it's shocking to see Baby Adam, but then people forget his differences and just love on him.
Jessica said she believes her adopted son is truly a miracle. Doctors didn't think he'd live more than a couple days. The fear was that he'd be blind. But he lived. He thrived. And he can see now.
It's expected he'll be able to walk on prosthetic legs and function well with prosthetic hands, as well.
Jessica said Baby Adam loves music and loves to be in his stroller outside.
So how does this figure into One Spark? A local artist, Scott Morphew, knows the family.
He had created a pen and ink drawing of Mary and baby Jesus. After that he saw a photo of Theresa and Baby Adam in the Times Union and couldn't believe the likeness to his own artwork.
So he's joined One Spark in hopes of getting enough votes to win part of the $250,000 prize. He pledges to donate the money to Baby Adam's medical bills.
If you want to vote for Baby Adam, use the words, "Kiss of Life."
You can vote on the website www.beonespark.com
The festival runs Wednesday through Sunday in Jacksonville.
Note: A portion of the video above is courtesy of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
First Coast News