As many of you know, Ryan suffered a serious neck injury in 2009, playing football. He has had chronic pain and immobility since the injury. Ryan’s condition is degenerative and while he has continued to seek answers, his symptoms, pain and mobility have all worsened over the past four years, and more noticeably in the past 10 months. Our medical system here has not been able to provide any options for repair or surgery at this point. His deterioration compelled us to look for answers elsewhere. Ryan met with two Spinal/Neurosurgeon specialists from Germany (from an international program called ONZ) on September 4, 2013. Upon viewing his X-rays, MRI results, and medical reports they were very concerned about the severity and condition of his injury. Ryan suffered an acute compression of three vertebrae in his neck (which the Canadian Doctors told us), but he also suffered a more serious condition as well; a fractured Cervical vertebrae at the C4 level as well as a ruptured spinal ligament and an acute alteration to the normal angle of the vertebrae of his neck. Because this injury was not operated on immediately, over the last four years his neck has begun to shift dangerously (SEE X-RAY PICTURES). While this news was a shock to us, his increasing pain has left us wondering how severe his injury truly is. Ryan’s life has been drastically altered with daily pain, an inability to turn or move and now a worsening situation that is threatening to leave him unable to work, move and even live normally. The reality is that if he does not have his misalignment, vertebrae and discs fixed in the next year or two, he will begin to lose the use of his arms as well as his ability to hold his head up (drop head syndrome). For some time now it has been very difficult for Ryan to work a full week. He loves his work at Youth For Christ but is struggling to finish even a full 8 hour day because of this pain and headaches.
This is the prognosis: Because we have caught it in time, Ryan qualifies for an extensive surgery that is only being done in Germany. Surgeons will not and cannot perform this procedure anywhere in North America. Ryan needs to have his damaged and twisted C4 vertebrae removed entirely and replaced with a synthetic one that will be fused to the vertebrae above and below it at the proper angle. After this vertebra is inserted and fused to provide stability, they will adjust his entire Cervical spine back to its normal curvature, and then they will replace the 2 intervertebral discs below it (between C5/6 and C6/7) with synthetic M9 pads. Both of those discs have deteriorated to be almost bone on bone (the source of much of his pain).
This surgery, while daunting, has an extremely high success rate (especially because of his age), and has the potential to return Ryan to a pain-free life, with a huge increase in mobility and a permanent solution to serious medical conditions and paralysis resulting from further deterioration. We are so blessed to have a chance to make a life-altering, mobility saving change!
The procedure is roughly 40,000 Canadian dollars, not including travel for Ryan and I, as well as lodging for me as he is in the hospital. We are waiting for a full quote on the total costs surrounding the surgery, but this is our target for now!
We have seen God moving in how everything has worked out for us to be able to have this opportunity in time to prevent more permanent damage to Ryan`s spine. God has truly blessed us and we are even more overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from friends and family already. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for anything you can contribute financially or in prayer!