When Sebastian Stace’s parents, Monique and Brett, noticed their son wasn’t rolling, sitting or crawling at an age when most young children reached these milestones, they knew something was wrong.
After visits to multiple doctors, Sebastian, the youngest of three boys, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy - Spastic Diplegia. Sebastian suffers from symptoms such as poor balance, speech issues, toe walking, hypotonia and spasticity.
While currently Sebastian can walk independently for short distances, he needs to undergo intensive therapy to maintain his motor skills and the spasticity he suffers from will reduce his ability to function and walk independently as he gets older.
Sebastian receives Botox every six months to ease the pain of his tightening muscles, but extended waiting periods mean there can be ten months between treatments, leaving him in unnecessary pain. Also, Botox is not a permanent solution, with the effectiveness of the treatment expected to wear off as Sebastian reaches his teenage years.
In a bid to give Sebastian a better quality of life, the Stace family is looking to raise money so Sebastian can undergo life changing surgery at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, USA, and continue with intensive post-surgery rehabilitation for twelve months. The miraculous surgery is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and will be performed by Dr Parks, a pioneer in the field who has been performing these surgeries for the past 26 years.
With a successful outcome, Sebastian will have better posture and balance, find it easier to stand and sit, be able to play contact sports like soccer, league and rugby, no longer need Botox treatment and eventually become completely independent, no longer needing a wheelchair or walker.
“This operation in the USA will help Sebastian to keep his independence as he grows older,” said Monique.
“It’s going to change his life and allow him to have the chance to play with his brothers and no longer need the assistance of a wheelchair.”
Sebastian’s older brothers, Preston and Riley, attend St Joseph’s Primary School, East Maitland. Assistant principal, Sue Lacey, said that the whole school community is “right behind the Stace family” in its efforts to give Sebastian the best life he can have.
To help raise money over the next twelve months the family is hosting a series of fun events in which the community can be involved.
High Tea – 12 May
Ambrose Golf Day – 27 May
Casino night - TBA
Madhatters Party – TBA
To learn more, head to the Facebook page @helpsebastiansoar, or to make a contribution check out the Stace family’s Go Fund Me Page ‘Help Sebastian Soar’. All donations are greatly appreciated.