by Stephanie Seaver
This past weekend was Mother’s Day and mom, Jessica Brown, celebrated it with her son Ben and family. Four year old Ben is a happy, social, outgoing little boy who loves to talk to everyone. Sadly, Ben was born at 25 weeks with a brain bleed on each side of his brain which resulted in hydrocephalus.
“Hydrocephalus is a build up of fluid on the brain, so Ben had to have two shunts put in that help drain the fluid from his brain into his belly to be absorbed. He spent the first six months of life in hospital, most of it at Sick Kids in Toronto, and has been in and out since. He has undergone eleven brain surgeries, all in his first year of life, along with two feeding tube surgeries last year. The damage to his brain caused cerebral palsy, which affects the right side of Ben’s body limiting his mobility and ability to walk. He fully depends on us. His physio, OT and speech are very important. He only gets physio covered every two weeks and it honestly isn’t the best sometimes, so we try our best to be able to afford to pay for private physio along with an intensive physio in Toronto that helps kids that have similar disabilities to Ben,” says Jessica.
She hopes to see Ben walking one day but until then, Ben has been fitted for a wheelchair for school this year. Having a wheelchair means Ben’s family requires a larger vehicle that can be made wheelchair accessible. The vehicle needs to be used to transport Ben to and from appointments, especially as far as Toronto. The government helps with particular things but not everything is covered.
COVID-19 has had a negative impact on Ben and his family of five. Because of restrictions, developmental therapy appointments have been cut back. Jessica says it is especially difficult as Ben hasn’t been able to socialize with other children during all of this.
Private physio, intensive physio and occupational therapy are all very expensive. Ben’s family has a GoFundMe page which allows people to donate money to help Ben and all of his expenses.
“We are so appreciative of every donation. Every little bit helps us get closer to our goal!” says Jessica. To donate, please visit https://gofund.me/242d4981