Xander Rentschler

First post: Sep 13, 2016 Latest post: Feb 12, 2018
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated about Xander's surgery and recovery in one place. Many of you have been on this journey with us since the quads were born.  Xander is nothing short of a miracle and we know and believe in the power of prayer.  Thank you all in advance for supporting us, praying for us, and being on this journey with us.

Background:  Xander was born extremely premature at only 25 weeks gestation. He is a quadruplet.  He has 2 surviving sisters.....Veda and Malison.  We lost a son, Ike, 3 days after they were born.  He weighed only 1 pound 8 ounces at birth and endured many complications that go along with being premature during his 158 day NICU stay. One of those complications included a Grade 3/Grade 4 brain hemorrhage.  He has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.  Xander is a very determined young boy who has worked very hard through lots of physical therapy to get where he is today. He has learned to crawl, walk, jump, skip, ride bike, etc......all things we weren't sure he would be able to do. 

Cerebral Palsy has affected his gait patterns, and last winter after undergoing an extensive gait analysis, he was chosen by a specialized medical team at the Gillette Children's Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota to have a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery.  So......here were are. I am going to post a link to a website about the surgery.  It is a big surgery for Xander and the recovery is going to be LONG and a lot of hard work for Xander.  He will be relearning how to stand, walk, etc......Our stay in St. Paul will be 4-6 weeks. 

Definition of Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Surgery Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery is a procedure that treats
muscle spasticity caused by abnormal communication among the brain,
spinal cord, nerves and muscles.

Spasticity most commonly affects patients who have cerebral palsy (http://www.gillettechildrens.org/conditions-and-care/cerebral-palsy).
SDR surgery corrects muscle spasticity by cutting the nerve rootlets in
the spinal cord that are sending abnormal signals to the muscles.

Selective dorsal rhizotomy has been shown to:
- Reduce spasticity
- Improve gait (walking) patterns
- Help people use energy and oxygen more efficiently
- Improve range of motion and functional mobility
- Make it easier to perform self-care activities, such as getting dressed and grooming

To learn more about what a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy :

Please continue to keep Xander, the surgeon and entire medical team, and our family in your prayers. Please pray that Xander feels at peace and receives comfort and understanding about the things that are about to happen.  Pray he doesn't become discouraged after his surgery, as he will lose a lot of the mobility he has.  He will need encouragement to work hard at physical therapy to learn new movement patterns and regain the strength and stamina that he had.  We love you all!!

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