We are seeking assistance in partially funding a life changing medical procedure for our youngest son.
Background. Our son Finn was born eight weeks prematurely in an emergency procedure. As a result of a brain injury sustained during his birth, Finn has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). In Finn’s case his CP manifests as spastic diplegia, which impacts the functions of his lower limbs. At two years of age, Finn cannot walk or stand unassisted. We expect him to endure increasingly acute pain, muscle and joint breakdown and a range of other conditions as he ages and his leg muscles tighten.
While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, fortunately for us there is a surgical procedure that can effectively treat Finn’s specific condition. The surgical procedure, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), involves surgery on an individual’s lower spinal column followed by several months of intensive physiotherapy. The preferred timing for the surgery is at the age of three. The procedure has proven highly successful in cases similar to Finn’s, leading many patients to walk and seeing them enjoy relatively normal lives.
The global center of excellence for this procedure is the Cerebral Palsy Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, USA. The head of the center is the pioneer of the technique and has performed over 3000 successful procedures. After a lengthy diagnosis process, Finn has been accepted into the program and is scheduled for surgery in Dec 15. The surgical team considers Finn an ideal candidate and is highly optimistic that he will be able to walk as a result of the procedure.
Costs. The total costs associated with the procedure are substantial. They include:
Surgical procedure: $44,245 USD ~$57,000 AUD
Travel and accommodation (1 month in St Louis): ~$19,000 AUD
Physiotherapy (6months, 4 times per week at $180 a session) ~$17,000 AUD
TOTAL ~$93,000 AUD
While we are able to fund much of the cost, it will have a significant impact on our finances. We’ve created this page to give those in a position to assist a mechanism to contribute.
While the surgery and months of phsyio will be tough on Finn, we are confident that this procedure will enable Finn to walk and lead close to a normal life.