Gift of Mobility Program Brings Greater Freedom to Paralyzed Teenage Cancer Patient
SANTA ANA, Calif., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Described by his mother Gina Reyes as an amazing, quiet kid, a homebody who spends his good days playing Nintendo Wii or watching DVDs, 17-year-old Isaiah Reyes never complains about his serious medical problems.
However, Gina does wonder how her then 16-year-old son, who was found perfectly healthy at his annual physical one week, could become severely ill and paralyzed the next. The Reyes received a devastating medical diagnosis for their only son who had complained of headache, fever and a nosebleed. After rushing him to a hospital emergency room, they learned Isaiah had a blood clot on his brain and leukemia. While in surgery for the clot, he suffered a stroke and, in an instant, lost his independence and mobility. He requires around-the-clock care.
As if that were not enough, Isaiah's caretakers, an uncle and grandmother, were also diagnosed with cancer. Sadly, his uncle died in July. His grandmother continues to receive treatment. Cousins now provide Isaiah's care while his parents work to keep the family afloat.
Despite months of intensive physical and occupational therapy, Isaiah's muscles have atrophied. He is unable to use his left side. He has battled liver and kidney failure, and other complications resulting from the immune suppressing chemotherapy treatments. But he has rebounded since March, thanks to the caring doctors and other staff members at Children's Hospital in Orange County, California.
Gina Reyes' son has asked for a power wheelchair more than once, but with the family finances stretched, it was "something I wasn't able to do on my own," she said. To spare her son from disappointment and to encourage him to work harder, she told him he would not get one because she wanted him to walk instead. He didn't complain.
Although Gina could not provide her son a power
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