Joel has been in good spirits of late due to his tenth Birthday on the 7th of November. The Ronald McDonald house and the Womenâ€™s and Childrenâ€™s Hospital staff were fantastic and threw him a celebration â€“ decorating his room with streamers and the cards of well wishers. They even organised a few presents for him which really lit up his day.
Joel was able to walk for about five minutes heavily assisted with a walking stand and the physio beside him. Joel has been allowed to eat ground up food which has also made him feel a little better. He was able to leave his room to go outside on his Bâ€™day which was the first time to get some fresh air since being admitted into the hospital.
Joel will begin intensive rehabilitation at the beginning of the week to get him ready for his treatments. The rehab includes him seeing a physiotherapist, speech therapist and other specialist doctors. It seems as though every time we get some good news there is also so many negatives. The biopsy results came back and the tumour is a malignant cancer â€“ Epyndemoma. The neurosurgeons are confident that they removed all of the tumour, which was shown in his latest MRI scans. However if there is any left behind it has the opportunity to spread â€“ most likely down Joelâ€™s spine. When Joel has recovered more from the operation and is stronger they will begin Radiotherapy to kill off any cancerous cells left behind.
Joel may also have to go for further operations if his neck does not get stronger. X-rays have shown that there is a disc in his axial vertebrae (neck) that has slipped which requires him to be in a neck brace to help support the neck and to allow it to heal properly. He will be in this for four weeks which will hopefully correct the problem.
Besides all this Joel seems to bounce back from whatever is thrown at him. He remains in a lot of pain and his inability to communicate is frustrating him greatly. Each day he seems to get stronger, but he has his good and bad moments. He is very resilient and is inspirational in all that he is doing. We are all counting our blessings as there have already been so many miracles. Please keep your thoughts and prayers going for Joel and his family because as this is really only just the beginning of a very long road to recovery. If you can, please continue to donate, share the Prayer-for-Joel link and spread the word. Their family still needs your support to help them get through this. Thank you once again, as every little bit helps.