Ethan's SDR Surgery Fund

Ethan Blake was born almost three months prematurely and spent the first two months of his life in the NICU, where he was diagnosed with a form of Cerebral Palsy called Spastic Diplegia.  It affects the way his brain communicates with his muscles and causes tightness and weakness making it difficult for him to walk and balance even while standing still.  We are very fortunate that Ethan's symptoms are relatively mild, but he falls often and tires easily.  If you know him, you know that Ethan does not let his disability slow him down.  He is a loveable 6-year-old full of energy and imagination and he loves to play and climb in his own modified way.

For the last few years, Ethan’s doctors have used Botox injections to help reduce the spasticity in his muscles. It has helped immensely, but it was never intended to cure him. As he grows (all too quickly!) this extremely painful treatment is becoming less effective and his increased spasticity could lead to calf lengthening surgeries and permanent use of a walker.

There is a surgical procedure that has helped other children with Spastic Diplegia, and after much research, discussion, and soul-searching, we have decided to pursue this option for Ethan. But, we need your help.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) treats muscle spasticity caused by abnormal communication among the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. We have consulted with Dr. T.S. Park at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, who has determined that Ethan is an excellent candidate for surgery.

The results of SDR are staggering and life-changing. This procedure has been credited with reducing spasticity, and improving walking patterns, range of motion and functional mobility.  You can learn more about it here:

http://www.stlouischildrens.org/our-services/center-cerebral-palsy-spasticity/about-selective-dorsal-rhizotomy-sdr 

The surgery is 4 hours long and involves accessing his spinal cord and locating and partially cutting the nerve bundles that cause his legs to have the spasticity. Ethan will have a long road to recovery with required physical therapy 5 days a week for 6 months following surgery.  
 
We will travel to St. Louis this summer for the surgery and go back every few months for follow up visits.  Your giving will help us with the costs associated with the surgery, travel and the intensive physical therapy post-surgery.  And, of course, you will help give Ethan the ability to run, jump, climb, and play just like all his friends.  

We sincerely believe that SDR will change Ethan's life and hope that you will help us make that happen.  Thank you so much for your support and your love for our sweet, imaginative, brave, strong, super kiddo.  Come back for updates!

Donations

  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 60 mos
  • Erica Lambourg 
    • $20 
    • 60 mos
  • Justin Koenig 
    • $150 
    • 60 mos
  • Ernest Ellender 
    • $20 
    • 60 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 60 mos
See all

Organizer

Jennifer Landry Blake 
Organizer
New Orleans, LA
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