CONNOR, 5, has been battling the effects of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), or tangled blood vessels in his brain, for two years. This brave boy has endured seizures, strokes, more than 20 brain surgeries and countless other procedures like MRIs and spinal taps. The AVMs have left Connor with terrible migraines, blindness, fatigue and paralysis. PRAY!
Someone noticed that Connor's head looked large. Then his hair stylist noticed that his "soft spot" had not closed. At age three, this lead to a series of doctors' visits and finally a diagnosis: cerebral arteriovenous malformation (AVM). AVM is an abnormal connection between veins and arteries in the brain.
In September 2010, Connor entered LeBonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis for his first ever-so-delicate procedure called "embolization" - to reduce pressure on the brain from the clusters of tangled blood vessels. In a sense, the surgeon is redirecting the blood flow or creating detours.
After the successful surgery, Connor's medical team scheduled the next one for March 2011. During the months leading up to this surgery, Connor continued life like a normal three-year-old, playing outside, riding his John Deere tractor, going to Sunday school.
To his family's delight, his soft spot closed. They thought this was an answer to many prayers. But, actually, the closing created more pressure on his brain, causing headaches.
And when the Memphis medical team started the next surgery, they realized that Connor's situation had grown more complex. They stopped surgery and referred him to the best AVM doc in the world, Dr. Alejandro Berenstein in New York City (NYC).
In this massive and unfamiliar city, Kim, Tony and Connor met an amazing medical team. Dr. "B" successfully embolized three AVMs and scheduled the next surgery for mid April 2011.
However, when the Memphis medical team realized that enormous pressure on Connor's optic nerve threatened his vision, the team reset the surgery date.
Since then, Connor has had more than a dozen surgeries, typically two per visit. The massive pressure in his head continues to cause daily migraines and he's lost some vision in his right eye. Connor tires easily, requiring long naps.
Fortunately, Connor's overall development has not been impacted. In fact, he's considered advanced in verbal reasoning.
The toil of multiple, extended stays in NYC and frequent doctor/hospital visits in Memphis has been great on his family. With no end in sight, they are tired and weary - but still faithful to God.
The Caldwells needs your help. You can make a huge difference in this family's life by today! They need:
- Prayers: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Phillipians 4:6-7.
- Cups for Connor: By purchasing a McAlister's sweet tea tumbler for $10, you get unlimited $0.99 refills and can feel good helping the family with expenses. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Support for the Older Three Kids: While they are with relatives, drop them a card, give them a call, arrange an outing, bring a meal. Let's just love, love, love them.
- Words of Encouragement: Send happy mail to P.O. Box 542 - Byhalia,MS 38611.
Let us unite to cover Connor, his family and his medical team with prayers to God, the greatest physician and healer.
"I am the Lord, your healer." ~ Exodus 15:26
~ Michelle Forsythe