Last updated: August 23. 2013 2:11PM - 23 Views

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LIMA — Zyshonne Williams used to have difficulty communicating with his family and friends.Mom was the only word he knew. Now, after three years working at the Children’s Developmental Center at Lima Memorial Health System, the 5-year-old Lima boy is talking and thriving, his grandmother says.“I’d like to thank the hospital staff for what they’ve done,” said Gwen Pernell, Zyshonne’s grandmother. “When he first went he wasn’t talking but now he is.”The success story is one reason why Zyshonne was chosen as the 2008 poster child for the Lima Noon Sertoma Club’s Better Hearing and Speech month. Zyshonne and his family were recognized on Tuesday during a luncheon at the Old Barn Out Back.“It’s an honor to be chosen. I was surprised,” Pernell said. “We were honored they chose him.”The recognition came with a $200 savings bond and a gift bag, including a new baseball bat and ball. Zyshonne’s grin stretched from ear to ear as he toted the bag to his grandmother’s side inside the banquet room.Asked if he was happy, Zyshonne had a simple reply to match his grin.“Yes,” he said softly.Attending the developmental center at the hospital has made a huge difference in Zyshonne’s life, Pernell said.“When he first started going he wouldn’t say anything. He’d just smile like he always does but he wouldn’t talk,” Pernell said. “It was a challenge at first. We worried about how the world was going to perceive him. Now that he speaks and talks it makes you happy. It really makes you happy.”

Sertoma chooses 2008 poster child
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