Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rehab at Chedoke Hospital

The Fruck family at the end of the exercise session. One hour and a half of hard physical work for not only Cassie, but Julia and Chris. Mom Kathy is the cheerleader offering encouragement to her little brood!

Daddy Chris helps Cassie in her exercise climbing

A loving family - Mom- Kathy, Dad - Chris,
Cassie and Julia.

Sisterly love shown - exercising together!

Big sister Julia (left) and Cassie (right) at Chedoke Hospital in the Rehab department for children.

Last night, Dec. 1, 2008, I had the priviledge of sharing an hour and a half with a family whose child is undergoing medical procedures and rehab. The Mom, Kathy will be setting up a blog when she has the time, but in the meantime, I will start to blog about this little family (with their permission).

Young Cassie has cerebral palsy as a result of intraventicular hemmorrhage before she was born. This is basically a bleed in the brain, which has resulted in left sided paralysis and a condition called hydrocephalus. Since her birth seven years ago, she has undergone numerous hospital stays and operations, including an operation to put in a shunt in her brain, which helps circulate the cerebral spinal fluid.

It will be necessary in the future for Cassie to have clubfoot surgery on her left foot but this cannot be done until she has Botox injections and Serial Castings which will improve the condition of the foot. A series of lightweight fiberglass casts to her legs every week or two needs to be done. After the casts are finished, each time she requires new custom fit ankle orthotics in order to keep the foot aligned. These procedures need to be done before she can be operated on. Serial casting is expensive and is not covered by Assistive Devices - Ont. Government. The costs run at $200 per week and it will be done for 8 weeks.

This brave little family are doing everything humanly possible to make life better for their little girl while at the same time, trying to provide a stable, normal home environment for both girls.

Daddy Chris works as a mechanic full time while Mommy Kathy, works part time in order to allow for numerous medical and rehab appointments. Very recently, Chris has had a stroke which was a very frightening experience for everybody. Even with this recent setback of the stroke, the family pulled together. A plucky family indeed!

This close knit family lives in Hamilton and attends the Lutheran Church regularly. St. John's Lutheran Church Council and Pastor Frank Bahr, allowed the Mom to bring their situation before the congregation and to mention their need of financial help.

Although Canada has a health care plan, there are other expenses which are not met and the help is needed for these things.

Expenses such as: Botox injections - $850.00 and they must be done every 3 to 6 months.
The serial casts - $1,200-$1,500
Braces - $3,000

**Please note that Assistive Devices programme of the Ontario government helps pay 75% of the casts and the braces. This leaves 25% for the family to pay.

Of course, the usual expenses that nobody would think of unless they had a relative in the same condition apply.

1. Hospital Parking
2. New boots and running shoes as required by the condition

3. The 25% not covered under OHIP for the series of casts and

4. Ability Camp - a therapy camp for five weeks which would benefit Cassie as it
is intensive therapy which teaches children to be independent. Cost of this
camp is $5,000 - $6,000 for the five week period.

5. The Serial casting - $200 per week for a period of 8 weeks.

On a very personal note, I have observed this family in action and seen the very close relationship between big sister Julia and little Cassandra. Cassandra looks up to her sister.

The whole family roots for Cassie as she is going through the physiotherapy. Cassie has made some friends at Chedoke as well which makes it more interesting for her. The physiotherapists there are so friendly and give such loving care to this little girl that it warms the heart just to see that.

I will bring further information from time to time about the progress of the whole family.

A decent, hard working, loving family who could use a hand with their extraordinary expenses for little Cassandra.

Should one feel inclined to give this plucky family a hand financially, please see note below.

People can donate throught the Good Samaritan Fund (Memo Cassie) through St Johns Evangelical Lutheran church if they want a tax receipt or they can donate to TD Canada Trust Branch number 0202/6282235 account number if they don't need a receipt.

The address for St. John's Lutheran Church is : 104 Hughson Street North
Hamilton, Ontario L8R 1G6

Please mark on the envelope: Good Samaritan Fund (for Cassie) if sending to St. John's.

Should you like to learn more about Cassie: http://www.sbhao.on.ca/stories.asp


As an added note, here at the bottom of this blog, Cassie is 7 and is Grade 2. Julia is 10 years old in Grade 5. Cassie loves horseback riding at TEAD (equestrian for the disabled), girl guides, playing piano,dancing and singing Big sister Julia plays guitar, loves singing, dancing and swimming.

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