Zachary Foster suffered a brain haemorrhage in the womb, which caused him to develop cerebral palsy. This affected his life in several ways, and when Satan’s Little Helper found out about his condition, we stepped in to help in our own small way.
“The brain haemorrhage made things difficult,” says Zachary Fosters’ mum Jordan. With understated calm like that, you can see where 10-year-old Zachary gets his bravery and determination from.
Born at 24 weeks, Zachary suffered a brain haemorrhage at birth. He didn’t roll, crawl or walk until he was two years old, which led to concerned specialists sending him for an MRI scan after exhausting all other options.
“The MRI confirmed he had cerebral palsy from the brain haemorrhage,” explains Jordan. “Which is something he’ll live with for the rest of his life.”
After his diagnosis, Zachary weathered a few years of rotten fortune.He picked up streptococcal, osteomyelitis (an infection that eats away at the bone), a femur fracture that left him in a wheelchair for two months, and discovered he was anaphylactic the hard way – by being stung by a bee.
He has overcome those obstacles and is now focusing on improving the physical complications caused by his cerebral palsy, which affects his right leg, and the side-effects of the brain haemorrhage, which has left him with poor muscle tone and motor skills.
Treatment has improved his outlook. Botox and lengthening have given Zachary more mobility in his right foot, but it’s not a long-term solution as he’ll have to get it redone every six years.
He’s a bit behind at school but he’s got fire in his belly and determination in his heart, says Jordan.
“He wants to learn. He doesn’t want to miss school, even if he’s sick! He wants to go to university and get a good job. His learning is behind, but he gives everything a go and that’s all we ask!”
Away from school, Zachary is obsessed with his two cats and has started tennis, basketball and jiu-jitsu. He’s not in any teams yet, because he’s a bit injury prone as a result of his poor muscle tone.
When Jordan nominated Zachary for help under the Satan’s Little Helper program, she said a set of monkey bars would help him improve his strength, mobility and coordination. They may even help reduce his risk of injury, which could allow him to take part in team sports!
That sounded like a win-win for us, so we bought him a set and enlisted the help of Stop Digging, a company that use ground screws instead of concrete foundations for ground anchoring, to provide installation and timber frames for the bars. All for free!
“I was gobsmacked with the service Stop Digging provided,” says Jordan. “They were so clear, talked me through it, were very polite and had a great manner.”
With his monkey bars installed, Jordan says Zachary has been all over them.
“The first day he was playing we held him and guided him through it, but now he’s managed to do the whole length without us, which is pretty incredible!
“We’re so grateful to HELL! He’s been able to accomplish something he’s been unable to do for almost 10 years. Having the monkey bars has helped him achieve that; with Zachary, small accomplishments are such a big deal.”
Zachary was dealt a pretty rough hand but thanks to his determination and never-say-die attitude, he is hoping to do plenty of monkeying around over the next few years!