Campaign for Samuel
To get Samuel home, over $350 000 has been estimated as the amount of funding we are needing. This will go to covering costs for home modifications, specialized medical and therapy equipment, wheel chairs and a modified motor vehicle.
Until all basic equipment, home modifications and staffing are in place, we cannot bring him home.
Friday evening 27 November 2015: Samuel was running around with all his mates at his school disco. Before his classmates would be arriving for school on Monday 30 November 2015, Samuel was in an induced coma, fully paralysed and on a life support ventilator breathing for him.
His entire spinal cord and parts of his brain stem were being attacked by his own immune system brought on by rare condition known as Transverse Myelitis.
Life had been fully upended for Samuel and for his immediate family with so many more family and friends traumatised by how this fit, healthy and loving young boy has seemingly overnight been robbed of so much capacity.
Essentially, he cannot walk, move, use his arms/hands/fingers, speak, swallow or breath for himself.
If the ventilator tubing separates from his tracheostomy tube, he is unable to reconnect it at all by himself to maintain his ventilation.
He is quadraparesic (quadraplegic with sensation) with only functional use of his right foot/toes.
His torso and arms are paralysed including his diaphragm – rendering himreliant on a ventilator for survival.
The paralysis from his brain stem renders him unable to swallow causing oral secretions to build up in his mouth requiring constant suctioning.
Use of his vocal cords appears to be intact but because his epiglottis is also paralysed (the epiglottis covers the wind pipe during the act of swallowing), the inflatable cuff on his tracheostomy tube must remain inflated.
While this protects his respiratory system from the build up of oral secretions that he cannot swallow, it also renders his vocal cords as useless because there can be no airflow through them because of the inflated cuff.
Funding for staff to be monitoring Samuel during the day and at night when we are asleep is also needing to be sourced – and this will be for the long term.
There will also be ongoing equipment costs after Samuel is home which will serve to provide some quality of life
Watch Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist Paul Hanley showing his support by Serving for Samuel: