Almost thirty years ago the doctors told Jonathan’s parents not to expect him to live long. Born with cerebral palsy, practically mute and perpetually challenged, what’s a man to do? Everything.
Jonathan Peavey’s life has been a constant struggle to survive dismal expectations, little support outside of his immediate family, and an often insensitive medical community, aside from the care of one doctor who never failed to believe; yet he has continually influenced those around him, sometimes before they’ve met and often with live-changing results. What many would consider to be a winless battle is simply “normal” to a man who has survived nearly three decades beyond what anyone in he “delivery room” expected.
Jonathan’s life began in a race down a hospital corridor and a speedy delivery in the equivalent of a hospital closet. Whisked away by nurses, his mother, bleeding and weakened from delivery chased them down the hall, valiantly demanding to see her son. Taking him into her arms and counting his toes a nurse said, “Why bother?”
In 1992 surgery took part of his legs. In 1996 a feeding tube took his ability to taste. In 2006 a tracheotomy
took his voice. Each time he was given the option of surviving by giving up a physical part of himself or letting go. In each case, Jonathan chose to live. In 2010 he participated in his first marathon.
This story isn’t about Jonathan. It’s about a family, living a normal life in abnormal circumstances and the love and
hope that binds them together. Fiercely protective, profoundly spiritual, relying almost solely on each other and often ignored and sometimes ridiculed by others; this family of six remains bound together by their love for each other, their profound sense of humor, their faith in God, and the realization that there really is something extraordinary about Jonathan, their “beautiful secret.”
“People have told me to separate myself from being Jonathan’s sister while directing and producing this film. I don’t agree. Who else could be the best advocate for people living with disabilities than someone who lived right alongside a family member struggling with it? I was there when my family got turned away from restaurants because of Jonathan’s disability. I was there when Jonathan was mocked and bullied. I was there when doctors told my family Jonathan’s value of life isn’t worth the procedures we wanted for him. I understand and that voice will not be silenced.” - Angela Peavey (Director & Jonathan's sister)