Dear Angels for Kevin,
We would like to express our deepest and most sincere gratitude for your support, both financially and spiritually, throughout Kevin’s journey. We continue to be amazed by the ways God is working to further Kevin’s journey. We are so close to what we hope will be Kevin’s miracle! During our last trip to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, we were given some extremely encouraging news. We have heard from doctors throughout Kevin’s life that, “he is a unique and complex case”, so he has been difficult to accurately diagnose and treat. The doctors at TCH Houston have done thorough and exhaustive testing to try to accurately diagnose our Angel. The results prove that Kevin has multiple Neurological diagnoses beyond Autoimmune Disorders and Autism. This is the first time that we have received Neurological diagnoses that can be, and have previously been, successfully treated with miraculous results through Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)* – see below for detailed explanation!
We were already so encouraged by this news, and then the doctors gave us more great news! Because Kevin is much more complex and severe than the average DBS patient, the doctors and surgeons have decided to insert 4 leads and extensions during what they call a marathon (16 hour) surgery. This is something that they have never done before. Typically they insert 2 leads into the brain. With their new diagnoses of Kevin, they have decided it would be more beneficial to insert a lead into 4 targets of the brain, resulting in 4 leads total! Because this is something that has never been done before, the doctors have been through extensive practice, resulting in the long wait for the actual surgery. But the wait is almost over!
During our last trip to Houston, were given a date of September 4 for the surgery. We were very excited to have a confirmed date! But recently, we got a call from the doctors moving the surgery date to August 28th! This was clearly an answer to prayer. We had been praying that there would be an opportunity to move the surgery up. With Monty working in Colorado, and Matt going off to college this month, scheduling has been tough. So it is with great excitement that I tell you, our new confirmed date for Kevin’s surgery is August 28th!
We have been incredibly blessed to have you all with us on this journey of hope. The fact of the matter is, the journey is coming to an end. This miraculous surgery is likely our last hope to give Kevin the healing and peace that he needs to be able to continue living with us. You have all continuously supported us throughout our journey, and we are eternally grateful. It is in this last effort to help Kevin find peace that we ask if you would consider helping us both financially and through prayer one last time. The doctors are requiring that Kathy and Kevin live in Houston for at least 3 months to recover from the surgery. The cost associated with this extended stay will be more than we will be able to handle on our own. Or perhaps some of you have frequent flyer miles that you would consider donating.
Matthew will be starting college this month and will be off for 4 days for Labor Day. He so desperately wants to be a part of this last part of the journey, but unfortunately we will not be able to afford to fly him to Houston to be with us. We have also had a few of our prayer warriors add us to their prayer groups’ list of prayers. We believe strongly in the power of prayer, and would welcome you to share Kevin’s story with your prayer groups as well.
To help offset uninsured expenses, we have chosen to fundraise with HelpHOPELive in part because HelpHOPELive assures fiscal accountability of funds raised and tax deductibility for donors. Donors can be sure that funds donated will be used only to pay or reimburse medically-related expenses. For more information, please contact HelpHOPELive at 800.642.8399.
Thank you so much for continuing to pray for Kevin and our family. We will continue to share updates with you all. Your support means the world to us, and has ultimately allowed us to continue Kevin’s journey to this miraculous opportunity. We thank God for you all each and every day.
Monty, Kathy, Matthew, Kevin and Amy Wooldridge
DESCRIPTION OF KEVIN’S UNIQUE DBS SURGERY (AUGUST 2012):
A DBS system looks and operates much like a pacemaker—except that instead of sending pulses to the heart, it sends pulses to the brain. In Kevin’s particular DBS Surgery, the Neurosurgeon will permanently implant a Neurostimulator (a stopwatch-sized metal case containing a battery and electronics that make mild electrical pulses which stimulate the brain) in his chest. The Neurosurgeon will also permanently implant 4 Leads and Extensions—wires that carry the mild electrical pulses from the neurostimulator to the brain. The tip of a DBS lead is positioned at a specific spot in the brain, and the neurostimulator is typically placed under the skin in the chest (about where your hand goes when you say the pledge of allegiance). The extension connects the lead to the neurostimulator. Kevin’s surgery is unique in that this is the first surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital to implant 4 leads at one time. This surgery is not for Kevin’s Autism diagnosis. The DBS system will address Kevin’s diagnoses of Encephalopathy; Dystonia; Dyskinesia; Stereotypies; Turrets and Severe Genetic Obsessions, Compulsions and Tics which stimulate spitting, Self-Injurious and Aggressive Behaviors and more; and his Seizure Disorders. This is a marathon surgery lasting about 16 hours.
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In honor of Kevin Wooldridge
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2 Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087