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- Fundraising Target:
- $ 48,000.00
- Donations to Date:
- $ 34,506.00
Messages of Support
Flynn and his twin brother, Jack arrived in this world 16 weeks early giving us all a big shock!
Flynn weighed 720 grams and Jack only 630 grams. As the boys required intensive medical attention they had to be flown from Cairns to Townsville by The Royal Flying Doctors only hours after their birth with medical experts involved giving them a 10-15% chance of survival. Sadly Jack didn’t make it, and he passed away after 10 days.
Despite all the challenges Flynn faced, including severe bruising from the birth process, a Grade 3 IVH (bleed on the brain) and Chronic Lung Disease he fought on and came home to us on his due date, after spending 112 days in hospital!
Due to his extremely premature birth and the significant brain injury sustained from it, Flynn now faces many long term challenges.
Flynn needed to have Strabismus surgery at 12 months of age to correct his eyes from turning. MRI results show lesions on the cerebellum, and areas of the brain that did not develop fully due to his early arrival, leaving Flynn with developmental delays, motor skill difficulties, and sensory dysfunction issues. Flynn was officially diagnosed with Autism, related to the effects of his prematurity at the age of 3 and a half. He had already been attending a Special Education Unit two mornings a week prior to this time and was already working with Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists.
We decided he needed additional intensive therapy and began a home ABA program of 20 hours one on one therapy which we ran for 6 months, flying a psychologist from Brisbane to Cairns monthly to coordinate with a team of very enthusiastic and capable therapists helping Flynn to develop his skills of imitation, compliance and social awareness.
When Flynn was four we moved from Cairns to Brisbane so he could attend a full time early intervention unit, AEIOU, for 25 hours a week with a Speech Therapist, Physio and OT on hand to assist Flynn with his many needs. Flynn attended this unit for 18 months and made steady progress.
We feel very fortunate that Flynn now attends mainstream school full-time where he is supported by many wonderful teachers and patient and talented school officers who help him participate in the classroom and general school life in a very positive and embracing school community.
Thanks to the fantastic support we received from family, friends and the community of Cairns we were able to raise enough money to take Flynn to China in December, 2011 for Stem Cell treatment which was our fundraising aim for that year. Since having this treatment we have seen an incredible leap of progress for Flynn who is now making many advances in the areas of speech, learning, co-ordination and social interaction. Before this treatment it had taken 6 years of intensive speech therapy for Flynn to finally get to the point where he could say individual sounds for the letters of the alphabet but had great difficulty in putting these sounds together to form words, even 1 syllable words such as cat or dog were beyond his ability to consistently repeat.
Upon returning from China we have seen this improve dramatically, with Flynn saying “Happy home Mummy,” when he arrived home on New Year’s Day, 2012! This has steadily improved and now Flynn is able to say hundreds of words (many 3 and 4 syllable words included) and can communicate his needs verbally with up to 10 words in a sentence!
Flynn’s teachers, school officers, therapists and friends have all been astounded at his development, as we have been and he is very happy to be able to talk and interact so much. Flynn loves books and can now read over 200 sight words, which has allowed his reading ability to improve dramatically this year. Flynn is working hard to advance his fine motor skills of cutting, writing and drawing and these are all areas that have progressed well since his stem cell treatment, as has his gross motor skills, balance and co-ordination. Flynn can now write his own name and is learning to write many other letters of the alphabet too.
Any funds raised this year through online donations will allow for continued speech therapy, to allow further progress in the area of speech and communication, and also further programs for the computer and applications on Flynn’s IPad to help his learning in many areas. Money raised will also help to cover the ongoing biomedical costs for vitamins, supplements and dietary requirements.
Due to the success of the Stem Cell treatment we are contemplating another visit to China for Flynn within the next few years for further treatment but at the present time are waiting to allow the full benefit of the first treatment to come to fruition.
If you would like to know more about Flynn’s journey feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Our overall vision for Flynn is that he will grow to be a happy and content adult who will contribute positively to his community and live as independently as possible, and we will work hard to see that he has every opportunity to do the best he can.
Thank you so much for the time you have taken to read about our beautiful, determined little boy - his life so far and our hopes for his future. We are very proud of how far Flynn has come and ecstatic with the progress he has made this past year, and would like to thank everyone who helped this to happen. We hope that he will continue to surprise and inspire us all with his achievements in life!
The Rigby Family –
Frazer, Jenni, Flynn, Patrick and Tess