In June 2013 my cousin Andy Benson went in for a routine check-up, had some X-rays of his back taken, and was very surprised when it was revealed that he had a fracture in his spine. In August 2013 he underwent a surgery to repair the fracture, called a pars fracture. With his wife Tessa, only two months away from giving birth to their first child Nia, they needed the surgery so that Andy would no longer have to suffer in pain and he could focus on being a healthy father to their new baby. It was hard finding the money to pay for this massive expense especially with the baby on the way, but they somehow managed to find enough.
The surgery was performed in August as planned. All indications showed that it was a success until Andy developed a spinal leak. He spent several more days in the hospital and endured a massive headache.
Fast-forward to March 2014. Andy woke up one morning and felt a pop in his back. Tessa called the clinic and Andy soon had an X-ray to see what damage was done. Again, they weren’t prepared for the results. They could see that Andy had broken a screw. They ordered physical therapy for six weeks. Unfortunately, that didn’t help, and his back and nerve pain continued to get worse.
An MRI in July 2014 showed that vertebrae in his back had shifted, and that Andy would need to have surgery again. Unfortunately, the bones did not fuse and Andy’s muscles were strong enough to break the screw. He was in such pain that some days he wasn’t even able to get down on the floor to give his daughter a bath.
Andy underwent the second surgery on July 28 – this time with the surgeons going through his abdomen. It took two surgeons more than eight hours to remove the old bone graft as Andy had grown bone near his nerve and had lots of scar tissue. As the surgeons were removing the graft, they caused a tear and Andy started leaking spinal fluid. Four days after the second surgery, Andy underwent a third surgery- this time to install a drain. This third surgery, the most recent, happened only a week ago.
Their daughter needs her daddy to play with her. Not only does he face a long road of recovery physically, but also the monstrous task of figuring out how to financially cover his surgeries along with the necessary follow-up care that, at this point in time, they cannot afford. This is also taking into consideration the time he lost from being off work, therefore the loss of income. If you are able to give any amount, no matter how big or small, the good it will do for this young family is immeasurable. Thank you in advance for your donation, and please continue to pray for Andy. God bless.
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