Melgie's battle against Cerebral Palsy
We would love to share our journey with you.
On 22 July 2016 we were excited to welcome our newest edition Melgeorg Jacobus Welmans to our family. Little did we know about the challenges that were lying ahead.
Melgie (as we refer to him) was born with a cesarean and because of complications spent his first 7 days in New Natal ICU.
According to medical evidence he swallowed amniotic fluid and also had a Ventricular septal defect (VSD - a 2mm hole is his heart). The amniotic fluid caused a lung infection. This was a very stressful time for us as family. Melgi was in an incubator with many machines connected to his little body. He also received oxygen. We somehow stayed positive and trusted that he would overcome this. Melgeorg was born a fighter, every day he got better. A week later we had the privilege of taking him home.
After a rough start we felt very blessed to have Melgie home. Except for very little sleep he seemed to us like a very normal baby.
When Melgi started to crawl, our parental intuition started to question a few things. We became aware of the fact that his crawl looked very different to that of his two siblings. We often spoke about it but decided to put it down to each child being an individual and maybe he was to be our little "alternative" baby. When Melgi started to walk we couldn't ignore the fact that he was very unstable on his feet and we noticed he used his right arm and hand minimally. It seemed like his right hand, arm and leg somehow could not function well.
At this stage we consulted a GP and resorted to several months of physio. Without results we were referred to a Pediatrician and Melgi was admitted to hospital. During his time in hospital they did many costly tests. Although the pediatric doctor could immediately see what the problem was, it had to be confirmed with tests. My heart was so overwhelmed with the idea that something was wrong. Something more than just a few stiff muscles. The MRI Brain scan confirmed brain damage due to a stroke after birth. The Pediatrician then made the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy.
To us as family this diagnosis was devastating news. The word S-T-R-O-K-E changed our lives and the life of our beautiful son. We were not given time to digest it because the one thing led to the next. There was very little time to stop and think about what this meant. We were advised to start Therapy immediately. Today we are thankful for all the wisdom of the two very special doctors who treated Melgie in hospital and who are now coaching us on our journey. Initially it felt like we couldn't breathe. My tears couldn't stop. The word Cerebral Palsy did not mean much, but it meant our lives will change forever.
We were referred to a neurological rehabilitation center that specializes in children with brain injuries. Here, a group of Specialists explained to us what exactly Cerebral Palsy is, and how Melgie is affected. They, together with our pediatrician, established Melgie's therapy strategy which now consists of a very natural noninvasive therapy plan. This plan involves Occupational and Speech therapy as well as Nero physiotherapy.
Melgie currently needs a minimum of 3 hours of therapy a week. We continue with his therapy at home the rest of the week. He also needs a corrective boot. Before his diagnosis he often fell and hurt himself because he could not keep his balance. He still falls often but his injuries are much less. This orthopedic shoe helps him train muscles to be able to walk normally and to keep his balance. As he is still growing this boot needs to be adjusted and replaced regularly at great cost. He cannot walk without this boot. He also sleeps with a hand guard which helps the hand muscles to stretch and this also releases the spasms in his hand and arm.
The rehabilitation center is 230km away from our family home. This means travel costs to and from therapy is also adding up to be a great expense.
Melgie is a lively young boy that likes to play outside and to run around – should we be able to continue with this program of weekly therapy he will be able to function like a normal boy of his age.
We are inspired by his determination and the way he approaches life. He lives life to the full. By contributing to his fund, you can be part of his success.
This fund will be used to help with the following:
(These costs are an estimated amount for the next 2 years)
- Melgie’s new orthopedic shoes, hand guard and adjustments per year (R40 000) $2 702
- Additional therapies – muscular and neurological per year (R60 000) $4 054
- Tomatis therapy
- Hippotherapy (treatment with help of the horse)
- Movement Therapy
- Traveling cost to and from therapies weekly (R57 400) $3 879
- Home equipment to facilitate his therapy at home. (R14 000) $1960
Other medical expenses (R40 000) $5600
- Doctor visits
- Dentist visits
We would love to explore other Natural Therapies to improve Melgeorg's progress - this fund will also be used for the costs involved.
Thank you for taking the time to stop and read Melgeorg's page. We have learnt that every bit helps, every bit of love, every bit of caring and every bit of compassion. We are grateful for any contributions towards Melgeorg's Cerebral Palsy fund.
Please share this link with your loved ones if your heart has been touched...