The past 18 months have been nothing short of daunting. In an effort to increase
Christian's quality of life we opted for a surgery to "lengthen his hamstrings and heel-cords".
walker since birth. As he got older it really started to impact his walking by throwing off his
center of gravity. We had tried bilateral serial casting, AFOs, DAFOs and lots of physical
therapy. Nothing seemed to work.
This surgery was supposed to get him off his toes, although there would be a period of 3
weeks post-surgery where he would have to be in long-leg casts and be wheelchair bound.
We went ahead with surgery on March 11, 2008. Without making this story too long --things
went wrong. The surgeon inadvertently cut a portion of his Peroneal nerve on his left leg
causing "drop-foot" on that side. The right side was successful.
We were told that a nerve repair was done in surgery and that they did not expect any
negative outcome. That, unfortunately was not the case. Today, 18 months later he still
requires a wheelchair for long distances and at school. He requires PT and aqua therapy
every week along with daily stretches and exercises to get that foot back in usable shape.
This little slip of the scalpel has impacted every facet of our lives. From camping (none this
year) to not being able to do things he loves, like miniature golf. Christian has lost a
tremendous amount of his stamina (from the pain in his leg), his will and ability to ambulate.
Small things we all take for granted, like getting out of bed are a chore for him. Walking
down the hall without bouncing off the walls. Trying to walk up or down two or three stairs
-can not be done without assistance. His quality of life was severely impacted by that
momentary slip on March 11, 2008.
In January he started being able to wiggle his toes a little bit and only very recently has he
been able to walk around the house with no braces --the danger still exists that he could step
wrong with that foot and break his ankle but are trying to have him rebuild muscle tone
without the "crutch" of the brace. We have had to add medications to his already heavy load
to cover the neuropathic pain (we have been told that the pain is common when nerves are
trying to heal but sometimes once they are healed the pain never goes away... oh goody
something to look forward to) --Lyrica, a powerful med with many side effects is the primary
medication for this. He is also on long term Methylprednisolone (a steroid) to reduce
inflammation in his pelvis likely caused by the misaligned walking over the past 18 months).
All of the extra therapies and doctor visits to try and correct Dartmouth Hitchcock's error has
put an extreme financial strain on the household and my small business. When we spoke
with Dartmouth about the possibility of them helping to cover additional expenses and losses
(in billable time and lost clients from my business) (now totaling more then 25K for 18
months), loses incurred due to no fault of ours their response was simply that their doctors
did not stray from "the standard of care" and that the nerve injury was within the statistical
errors acceptable for this surgery.
No donation is too small. We really appreciate the generosity especially in these hard times.
Thank you very, very much! Anybody who knows me or us knows this is not my style but in
the absence of anything else I have to try it.
Immediately following surgery
3 weeks after surgery, April 2008
Special Olympics Soccer Tournament
October 2009. Still in a wheelchair,
being assisted by his brother, Justin.
Your help is needed, and greatly appreciated!
See some pictures of Christian