Thursday, May 14, 2009

Praying for Scotty!!

Hi Everyone,

Please take a minute to read the note from my friend and church member, Merry. Her nine-year-old son is having surgery tomorrow, Friday May 15. Please keep Scotty and the entire Detrick family in your prayers.


My two boys are 12 months and 8 days apart. Jackson was born on December 11, 1998 and Scotty joined us on December 19, 1999. Those of you that know Doug and I at all know we're really not big planners!:) Anyhoo, from the start, Scott was a completely different child from Jackson. He cried all the time, wouldn't sleep lying on his back, and was sick so often with respiratory viruses and ear infections. Through it all, though, he remained a pretty happy baby and his big brother became very protective of him. Jackson is most definitely the unsung hero in all of this. (Well, him and mom, sister, sister-in-law, Demetra Lilly, the list goes on and on...)

After years of ear infections, more antibiotics than we ever felt comfortable giving our son, and still dealing with the fact that he couldn't sleep through the night at 6 years old, we finally had our "aha" moment. Scott was blessed to have the most wonderful 1st grade teacher, Rena Morgan, who believed me when I said I thought he couldn't hear. (His pediatrician at the time just thought he needed another set of tubes) She encouraged me to fight for a hearing test from a specialist even though his initial screening was fine. It was then that we learned that our child suffers from a recurring condition called Cholesteatoma. You can google it, but I'll give you the brief explaination: Scotty was born with collapsed eustacian tubes (those are the tubes that drain your sinuses) and they never "un-collapsed". Therefor, he has constant drainage forming behind his eardrums. This drainage eventually becomes hardened, benign tumors that eat away at everything in his ears. When we finally had him diagnosed, he had ZERO hearing in his left ear, as well as no eardrum and only fragments of hearing bones, and only 50% hearing in his right ear. The kid was still playing sports, making good grades and basically handling himself just fine. Scott had just compensated for his lack of hearing - and for how long we have no idea.

Scott has had multiple major surgeries on both of his ears. These surgeries (skip ahead if you're squeamish) always involve cutting the back of the ear and folding it to repair damage and remove tumors. He has had 4 such surgeries and is preparing for his 5th on Friday. He has received new eardrums from skin grafts and all of his hearing bones are prosthetics. The good news (Yes, there is some!) about this surgery is that his specialist, the ever-steady Dr. Herrmann, doesn't see any new tumors on the CT scans. He is simply going back into the left ear to replace a prosthetic bone that has dislodged with a titanium one.
I have friends who have chronically ill children, and they'll tell you we all have one thing in common: it never gets easy watching them wheel your baby away from you into a cold operating room. We're blessed that Scott is old enough to understand his condition and what has to be done...even though he still doesn't like it. His least favorite part? After each surgery, he must remain as still as possible for up to 3 weeks. That means no running, karate, jumping, dog walking, dancing, bouncing....and the kid is constant motion, people!

Some of you will ask what you can do to help. We always take prayers, Scott loves having his friends come over and visit after his surgeries, and Doug takes beer donations, as well!
I'm sorry for the long post, but there really isn't an easy way to explain all this. Just know that we are a stronger family for having this challenge, and please, please consider making a donation to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Who knows? Maybe we'll start getting a discount.....:)

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