On 15th August 2016, our 22 month old son Emerson Grant was mis-diagnosed with an arachnoid cyst on his spine, which resulted in him being paralysed with a spinal cord injury – Tetraplegia incomplete.
Emerson was rushed to St George’s hospital in Tooting, where he underwent an emergency MRI scan which showed the arachnoid cyst had grown so big that it was effecting his nerves in his spine (C6/C7 – T2) and his bladder. The neurologist surgeon was good and she removed this, however not before Emerson lost the use of his lower body. If the cyst had been left any longer and untreated, Emerson would not be here today.
Emerson still has no feeling in the lower part of his body. He is now classed as disabled-incomplete and will require many years of rehabilitation, it is unknown if our son Emerson will be able to walk again but the doctors are positive and say that there is a good chance of Emerson regaining his mobility, through physio therapy and the use of specialist equipment.
He is already able to move his arms and now we will concentrate on working on his legs /lower trunk and bowel management, but this requires time, equipment, physio therapy and hydro therapy. Emerson will never gain 100% mobility back but we are not giving up and hope that he will take his first steps again and be able to walk up the stairs and run around kicking a ball and chasing bubbles with his sister and brother in the garden just like he used to.On Monday 3rd October 2016, Emerson was transferred to The National Spinal Injuries Centre (NSIC) based at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury where he will undertake 6 weeks rehabilitation.Unfortunately there are only x2 Spinal Injury Centre’s in the UK that have facilities for adolescent and paediatric children aged between 1 years and 18 years. Between the two hospitals they have just 12 beds available that are mostly fully booked with a very long waiting list. (Stanmore has just 3 beds and NSIC has just 9 beds)We have no idea what life will be like with a disabled child with spinal injuries and what expenses it will cost in future rehabilitation and equipment costs.We are hoping through the internet and social media sites we can reach out to other parents who have a child that has been effected with a similar spinal cord injury.Due to Emerson age funds/equipment and resources are limited and we as his parents are doing all we can do to research and find the best services to enable our son to be able to sit up unaided and walk again.
We hope that by documenting Emerson’s story we can reach out to people in similar circumstances and educate and build awareness of spinal cord injuries mostly in children under the age of 5 years old.