Saturday April 29 was a normal day for this previously healthy and busy six year old boy. During the night around 4 am Rowan awoke complaining of pain in his legs and back. By 5 am he was in the emergency department at the Saint John Regional Hospital and unable to walk or stand. A CT scan showed a large blood clot on his spine and by 10 am he was in the operating room for emergency surgery. He was then rushed by air ambulance to the IWK Children's Hospital in Halifax, Nova Scotia for futher treatment.
Rowan had no sensation from his feet to his upper chest.
It was hoped that as the incision healed and time passed feeling would return. This hope was quickly replaced with worry and after one day Rowan was diagnosed with Spinal AVM. This is a growth of abnormally large arteries and veins around the spinal cord resulting in a bleed. The result and the reality is that Rowan is permanently paralyzed.
With the paralysis starting so high up, he has trouble coughing and has no control of his abdominal muscles. We can only hope and pray that over time and with therapy, the mobility of his upper limbs will improve.
On May 17, Rowan was transferred to the Stan Cassidy Center in Fredericton, NB resulting in a two hour round trip for his family to visit him. He has a lengthy period of rehabilitation ahead of him to develop as much mobility in his arms as possible.
Amazingly, Rowan is helping his family deal with their despair. He is going about the business of getting on with life. He ask questions like "Will I still be able to go to school?" and "Can I still play with my friends?". He looks forward to getting into his wheelchair and exploring the hospital. He has occupied his recent days going to therapy and learning how to do all the little things we take for granted over again. We are amazed at his attitude and bravery.
Rowan lives at his grandparents, Bernie and Veniene, with his mother Candance, his brother AJ and his cousins Makayla, Lydia and Jayden. A very busy household and they are all anxious to get Rowan home with them.
Veniene and Candance have been with Rowan at the IWK and are now at the Stan Cassidy Center since the beginning. Their main priority is to help Rowan deal with his illness and help with his therapy.
We are sharing Rowan's story as a way to show support for this amazing family. The donations received will go towards the many trips to see Rowan as well as other items like accessability at home that Rowan will require. This page was created to help relieve the financial stress on the family so they can concentrate their efforts on helping Rowan.
It is with humility and a thankful heart the family appreciates your prayers and support.