RINCON — Local golfers will soon swing into action to aid a good cause.
On April 15, Lost Plantation Golf Club will host Breaking Chains for Baby JJ. It is a fundraiser for JJ Sessions, a three-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a Guyton pond December 2020.
JJ suffered brain damage is undergoing costly stem cell treatments in Arizona and intensive laser therapy in Texas. Speech therapy, physical therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and occupational therapy are also part of his recovery.
“He’s doing really well,” said Jeremy Sessions, JJ’s father. “He’s starting to be a lot more focused on everybody. As far as the people he has been around, he is super focused on them.
“His hand movements have gotten way better and he is swallowing a lot more, and he is making a lot of sounds. We got a video of him crying and laughing this past week.”
JJ’s family has been deeply moved by his progress.
“It was good to hear him but it was kind of heart-wrenching to hear him cry,” Sessions said. “It’s definitely a blessing but it shakes me up for sure.”
JJ, set to have a tracheostomy tube Thursday, suffered a gnostic brain injury. Gnosis is the ability of the brain to recognize previously learned information such as objects, persons or places collected from the senses.
“He’s doing a lot, lot better as far as all that and he’s not so tense,” Sessions said. “They call it spasticity with a gnostic brain injury.”
Spasticity is abnormal muscle tightness due to prolonged muscle contraction.
“That’s to be expected, but between the HBOT treatments, brain stem cell treatments and the red light laser therapy that we have been doing — they have all worked out well,” Sessions said. “None of that would have been possible without Effingham County and people from the surrounding areas helping out. They have definitely been godsends to us.”
The total cost of treatments JJ received in 2021 exceeded $110,000.
“And it’s all out of pocket,” Sessions said. “It’s definitely been rough.”
Sessions was injured on the job in November 2021 and hasn’t worked since.
“I had a little bit of money that I have been weeding through,” he said. “Of course, I’ve had people bless me and I’m very thankful for that. Of course, my focus is on JJ and my other three kids.”
Sessions has been buoyed by JJ’s progress.
“I’ve seen a lot of miracles,” Sessions said. “I say miracles because I do believe they exist and they happen everyday. Look at JJ now.
“When (the near drowning) occurred, (doctors) told me to unplug my son (from a respirator) and donate his organs. They said he would never be able to tell who we were.”
Breaking Chains for JJ, set for a 9 a.m. shotgun start, will feature a four-man scramble format. There will be up to 22 teams.
“We are looking for hole sponsors, which is a minimum of $100,” Sessions said, “or sponsors for the whole tournament, which is $1,500 for 18 holes. Mulligans will be sold at check-in and string will be sold at check-in.
“We will also be selling 50-50 raffles. They will be $5 each or five for $20.”
An auction will follow a lunch break. The cost of lunch is included in each golfer’s entry fee.
To register, call Sessions at 912-433-9496 or Joye (Pauline) Morgan at (912) 433-5252.
“We also have another event coming up,” Sessions said.
Sessions was referring to Rise Up Baby JJ in Stilson on May 7. It is a ride that will feature ATVs, UTVs and golf carts.
The cost is $50 per buggy (includes entry fee and one hand of poker). Kona Ice, Bow Tie BBQ and Sixth Gear sandwiches and salads will be available.
Early registration starts April 22 at Country Corner. Registration on event day starts at 10 a.m.
To volunteer or donate, call Sheena Way at 661-2824.