Jericho's Medical Journey
For those that have met Jericho, it's almost impossible to walk away and not be impressed with who he is as a person. He's 9yo, but has an old soul that wants nothing more than to have peace and love in this world. Several years ago he started exhibiting signs of being a picky eater, but for anyone with kids, that's a normal thing right? As parents, we didn't start getting concerned until his pediatrician started noticing he was sinking lower and lower off the growth chart. It wasn't until a few months later that a doctor used the term 'Failure to thrive' that we knew it was serious. The condition he was diagnosed with is called Gastroparesis . You can click on the link to learn more about it, but in short, it's a disease with no known cure that affects how food travels through your body.
So we began a journey that consisted of multiple hospital visits, a Gastro tube, then later a Gastro & Jejunum (G-J) tube. At that point, almost all of his nutrition came in the form of liquids, but his weight gain wasn't improving so the doctors (and there are many) wanted to try a TPN line . We started first with the IV line in his arm, but it became infected with MRSA and other contaminants, so the doctors moved it into his chest which has a lower risk of infection. With no less than three tubes coming out of his body (G, J, & TPN) over the past year he has not enjoyed the normal, activity-filled childhood a 9yo should. Rather he spends most of his days sedentary playing Roblox or Minecraft because his school laptop can't do too much more than that.
Just recently the staff at the VCU hospital changed his doctors and one of the things they wanted to do is perform a preliminary brain MRI to rule out any connections that the brain might have in Jericho's Gastroparesis diagnosis. Much like the doctors, we were not expecting much, as this was a procedural thing and a box to check. Instead, we were unprepared for what the doctor would tell us next. Jericho has a brain tumor, more specifically a posterior fossa tumor roughly the size of a golf ball. It's attached to his brain stem which makes it especially difficult to remove. The doctors believe this might be the cause of his gastro issues but it's too early to tell at this point. At the time of writing this, it has not been removed but Jericho will be having surgery on February 15, 2023, to get it removed. Needless to say, we are hurting, and concerned for our firstborn child. Moreover, we don't know if this tumor is malignant or benign.
We have been overwhelmed with the love, support and prayers from friends, family and even strangers. But I know many of you have wanted to help in other ways so we thought having this fundraiser would be a way for people to do that.
Your contributions will help with the following:
- Exorbitant medical bills - while we have decent medical insurance and have already met our family deductible, we can't predict what the future holds for medical costs.
- Co-pays for services like psychiatry, physical therapy, etc.
- Non-reimbursable medical expenses like alcohol pads, syringes, and medications.
- A new laptop for Jericho - He does get joy from playing Roblox and Minecraft but often complains about how slow his computer is.
- An iPad - His current tablet (pink kindle fire) is a relic.
- DoorDash - We haven't been cooking much because it seems like every week we are at the hospital
- Gifts for his brother - Jericho has a 6yo brother who misses him very much. He's unable to visit the hospital due to his age, and while we do what we can to keep him active and entertained sometimes we have to be creative.
We know times are tough, so if you're unable to donate, just know that it's okay. God has provided for our family up to this point and I have no reason to think otherwise. I just thank you for taking the time to read this and would ask that, if nothing else, you continue to pray and/or send good vibes our way.
Will & Margaret
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Will Chan Wright
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