Over the course of my 6-year-old son’s life, he has faced more challenges than any of us are likely to face in our entire lives. He was born without all of his skin, lungs or intestines, and he has a hole in his heart. He was born with blood filling his skull and crushing his brain. He was born without cartilage in his left hip. He has spent all six years of his life with osteoarthritis—bone rubbing against bone—in excruciating pain.
He has survived. He survived four brain surgeries, brain damage, hours and hours of occupational and physical therapy. He survived hip braces, casts, IVs and hours in the hospital. He survived avian flu and breathless trips to the ER to treat his asthma. He even survived three cases of anaphylactic shock. Yet, through it all, he never really complained. He is scared of the hospital and of IVs, but he is a trooper. He worked hard in occupational and physical therapy, and when doctors at the children’s hospital told us he might be able to walk with a walker by the time he started kindergarten, he started walking two months later at 18 months old.
My son is a fighter. He has fought for almost everything he can do. He fought to write, scribble, communicate, walk and love. He had to be taught how to hug. Miraculously, through hard work, luck and love, he is essentially intact. I was so proud the day he walked himself into kindergarten at the local neighborhood school without an Individualized Education Program. It was everything we had dreamed of. He could stand on his own two feet and be himself. His differences went unnoticed. It was a moment we worked tirelessly for.
Then the bomb dropped. After years of working so hard, he will need surgery on his hip. Not easy-peasy surgery. Surgery with a capital S. This November, a world-renowned orthopedic surgeon is going to break my son’s pelvis, cut his muscles and ligaments, shave his femoral head and put him back together again. My son, who fought and fought to be as whole and intact as possible by kindergarten, must be broken. He must endure more pain. If we want to preserve his ability to walk on his own, this surgery must happen. We have no choice.
My son will spend several months in a body cast and wheelchair. After the cast is removed, he will spend an entire year in intense physical therapy. He will use a wheelchair at first, then a walker, then crutches, then finally take careful steps on his own.
For the last six years, we have worked hard and leaned on as few people as possible. This time, the task is too great. Our resources are exhausted and our spirits are tired. But we want Logan to know, after all his hard work, this surgery can happen without so much chaos. We want him to see this as a step to limiting his future pain. We want him to know he is loved and cared for. We want him to know where he is staying in Seattle and how he is getting there. We want him to have movies and games to play and cards from friends.
Thank you for helping us with this journey. Accepting help and charity from a wider community is a new experience for us and gives us amazing hope and renewed spirits.