Back on their feet

For some folks, life takes them down paths that are sometimes difficult to understand. Micheal and Jenny Thomas and their three-year-old son Kelby have had their fair share of challenges.’ Micheal, injured in a 2006 fall from a windmill on which he was working, is still recovering from the spinal cord injury he suffered in the fall. After noticeable improvement in his ability to move his extremities, over the past several months his progress’has taken a turn for the worse. At first Micheal had’much positive improvement, however, he has recently lost’much of the sensation that he had gained as well as the movement in his lower extremities’and his body has begun having severe involuntary spasms. ‘ After living in San Antonio for the past 12 months, and starting’a business to help others suffering spinal cord injury, a discrepency with the investor has brought the couple back to Brady. ‘Coming back to Brady hasn’t been all bad because we are close to family again, but Micheal has had to put off his workout recovery routine,’ said Jenny. ‘It has also given me time to focus on Micheal’s medical issues and we think we have finally found the reason for his regression in his progress.’ Through tireless research on spinal cord injuries, symptoms and treatments, Micheal and Jenny contacted Charlotte Starnes, R.N. of Dr. Scott Falci with the Craig Hospital’in Denver,’Colo. who has reviewed Micheal’s medical history and most recent radiology films and subsequently scheduled an appointment ‘on Dec. 1 and surgery to follow’on Dec. 4. Until then, they endure virtually uncontrollable spasms which disrupt virtually all aspects of their life. ‘ With no insurance, the family is having to put off the evaluation and eventual surgery until Medicare becomes effective in December.’ ‘Despite the fact that he is obviously disabled, the way the government works does not allow us to have Medicare until this December,’ said Jenny. ‘Once that kicks in, we are still responsible for 20 percent of whatever the cost of the surgeries will be.’ The surgery, they hope and pray will be the answer to Micheal’s issues, is only performed by two doctors in the entire nation, Dr. Scott Falci being one.’ ‘What Micheal has is called a tethered spinal cord,’ said Jenny. ‘Basically, that means that the scar tissue that was caused when he broke his neck is not allowing spinal fluid to flow freely. The surgery, if successful, could restore his body to as much as full recovery as we could ever hope for. There are no guarantees and only a small percentage of patients regain full use of their abilities, but we are praying for a miracle.’Even with a miracle, Micheal is ready to do his part and work as hard as he can to fulfill his commitment to recovery.’ ‘We have the hope,faith can be difficult, as we all struggle sometimes, however, our faith is strong and we believe in the miracle that God can work through the surgeon’s hands and let the connection in Micheal’s spinal cord be uninterrupted to restore his function once again.’ In order to help pay for their costs associated with the upcoming surgery, the Thomases and their family have begun a raffle drawing for an Hisun four-wheel drive off-road utility vehicle. Tickets are being sold from now until the drawing date which will be Saturday, Nov. 1. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Other prizes include a Remington 700 rifle, a pop-up blind and dinner at local barbecue restaurants. ‘ The family is also hosting bake sales beginning Saturday to raise additional funds for the surgery. Saturday’s bake sale will be held at Wal-Mart from 8:30 a.m. until their goods are gone. The utility vehicle will be at Wal-Mart during the bake sale, it will also be at other various locations on the weekends from now until the drawing.’ The family will also be holding other bake sales and other fundraising events between now and Nov. 1 to offer opportunities to purchase the raffle tickets.’ Tickets will also be available at Berkly’s truck stop in Brady after Saturday.’ For more information, or to get a raffle ticket, call 597-2541 or 456-0426.’

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