The specialist in Seattle concurred with the parents. The knee issues were just a symptom of a larger problem. The larger problem was spinal and required a pretty significant surgery to correct it. Surgery was scheduled, and his son came through it with flying colors.
As just a side note, I must mention that Andy and his wife are amazing. Their son is 13 years old, and the problems started almost immediately after his birth. Their upbeat and positive attitude towards everything that has been thrown their way is truly awe inspiring. I teased Andy when he called me during his son’s 12 hour surgery to see if there was any work that needed to be done. He was bored waiting and thought he could be productive. I’m sure it is their faith and their family and their friends that help get them through, but still – amazing.
Post-surgery their son was in a halo. Like this:
Tell a teenager he can’t walk. He can’t swim. He is wheel chair bound in the summer. For three months. Yep, went over like a lead balloon. He started acting out by ramming into things with his wheelchair (the only way he could act out). He was frustrated – thoroughly frustrated.
But the day finally came for it to come off. He made a comment to his dad a few weeks before then that he wanted to crush the thing once it was off. Andy loved the idea. So, after they took the thing off (and had them medical technicians reassemble it, they had a crushing party. And he and his son did this:
I don’t know why. I love the fact his dad went out and rented a mini-excavator for his son to use to crush his halo. Watch his son the first time he pushed forward the level to crush it – he does it with such force you can tell he wishes it were his fist pummeling the thing.
His son is doing great. He is walking around really well. He continues PT and is getting stronger and stronger each week. A great end to a bad summer!