Gallant family’s push for teen’s back surgery heard

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A local 14-year-old has been scheduled to receive back surgery this Friday at BC Childre…

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A local 14-year-old has been scheduled to receive back surgery this Friday at BC Children’s Hospital after receiving four cancellations over the past two months.

Devin Gallant will have rods installed in his back due to scoliosis caused by Type-3 Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Devin has been at the hospital since January 20th for intensive therapy.

Devin’s mother, Mandy, posted to a Facebook group dedicated to Devin’s journey on Tuesday, also announcing that the paperwork had been signed to begin the treatment process.

Mandy has been fighting for three years to access available drug treatments for people with SMA. The family was previously denied coverage in BC because of Devin’s age and that he could walk, despite it being only a few steps.

The family’s plea for something to be done to improve Devin’s quality of life didn’t go unnoticed.

“We are in complete shock!! I don’t want to sound negative, but I will believe it when both things happen!!” Mandy wrote.

“Thank you to everyone for supporting us through what has been the hardest times of our lives. Man, did we ever make some noise together. Our family will be forever grateful to each and every one of you for joining our fight!”

Last week, Mandy said her son could no longer sit or stand for long periods without being in pain.

“We are literally watching Devin deteriorate,” said Mandy.

Devin was diagnosed with SMA, a genetic condition that causes muscle weakness and atrophy, when he was only three years old and has been in a wheelchair ever since.

Over time, [doctors] say Devin is going to lose all of his muscles and then just be firmly in his wheelchair,” said Mandy in an interview with Energeticcity in November. “Picture an elastic band, like those big elastic bands. They said picture one of those and picture as your child grows, you’re stretching that elastic band, and then all of a sudden you stretch that elastic band so far that it just snapped. That’s what’s going to happen to his muscles.”

Two years ago, Devin’s wheelchair ran over his ankle, resulting in him being in a cast, and Mandy believes the atrophy “took over” and worsened due to his inactivity.

A GoFundMe was created to help the family with costs that have accumulated over the past year, including travel, and needed equipment for Devin.

 

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