One father described how his teenage son was paralyzed and unable to communicate after suffering an asthma attack while attending school at the age of 11.
Geraint Richards has had asthma since birth and had a seizure seven years ago on the way to school.
The attack resulted in a heart attack and a medical team fought for 14 minutes to resuscitate him, reports WalesOnline.
Geraint has been unable to move or communicate since the attack and is still taking up to 16 different drugs to treat his condition.
Father Chris Richards said his condition is getting worse and he is now regularly suffering from broken bones and respiratory failure.
Chris runs the London Marathon to raise money for WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children.
After his asthma attack, Geraint spent nine months in the hospital and was cared for by a WellChild nurse.
Chris said, “He (Geraint) is not doing too well at the moment. He broke his knee in late June, broke his head last week and he is breathless. There is no going back, it’s time now. ” “Said Chris.
“He takes 15 to 16 different medications a day and takes morphine because his bones are so thin and fragile that he breaks repeatedly. It was tough.”
Chris says Geraint also has regular seizures and is bedridden and needs 24/7 care.
“You can’t meet his needs in the hospital because he needs someone around the clock and you can’t expect a nurse who doesn’t know him to do that. He can’t communicate, so they won’t.” know if he’s in pain or what he needs, “said Chris.
“The hardest thing for us is that he can’t communicate with us, he wants to do something and he can’t tell us what he wants. But he is on and his memories are like since the first day.
“He’s trapped in his body.
After the attack, Geraint spent three weeks in the intensive care unit at the University Hospital of Wales, another week in the intensive care unit and then nine months in the land unit at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital.
Geraint Lewis pictured with his father Chris, mother Julie and sister Kayley in 2014 (Image: Peter Bolter)
Speaking to WalesOnline in 2014, Chris said: “Geraint has always had asthma and was under control. He was under an advisor and he was very pleased with him. In fact, we saw him the week before and discussed the possibility of his being discharged from his regular checkups because we were concerned that he might miss school now that he is in school.
“The day it happened was a perfectly normal day – he went to school well. He called my wife around 1pm and said he was feeling a little sick and she said she would be done with work by 2pm and if he was still feeling sick, call her and she would pick him up.
“She never heard from him and assumed he was fine.
“But after school finished, he called to say he was uncomfortable, that his chest was tight and that he no longer had a pump.
“It’s only a short walk from our house in Glan Y Nant, but when my wife reached him in the car, he was practically sitting on the floor, fighting for breath.
“She knew immediately it was bad, so she took him to the nearby practice where she works.”
Geraint was given a nebulizer, but when it had little effect he was hospitalized in Bridgend.
When Geraint’s condition did not improve, an intensive care team was called in to transfer him to Cardiff, but then he suffered cardiac arrest.
It took another five hours to stabilize before he could be relocated, and by then the attack had life-changing consequences for Geraint.
“He was just a normal boy who loved his sports, XBox and fishing. But then he was so close to dying. In fact, he was clinically dead for 14 minutes, “added Chris.
Chris hopes to raise £ 2,000 for WellChild, who helped his family and Geraint by running the London Marathon – despite the fact that injuries, Covid, starting his own business and caring for Geraint have led to that he only trained for five weeks.
Chris said, “When we were in the hospital, we had one of the nurses visiting us every day, and it got to a point where we needed her to come because she was just such a calming influence when she was there.
“The help we got from her was far from what we could ever expect from a nurse.
“I chose WellChild as my charity of choice because unfortunately I and my family have learned firsthand how important their work really is.
“Our WellChild nurse Rhian Greenslade visited the station every day and was so comforting to us that we feared the weekends when we would not see her.
“Rhian has helped us in many ways, from making adjustments in our home to filling out the mountains of paperwork we were faced with. We all saw Rhian as our guardian angel! Unfortunately, not all hospital wards have access to a WellChild -Nurse as they are funded by charities and rely heavily on donations from the public.
“I managed to achieve the goal I set for myself, but I would like to raise more money for this wonderful charity, if possible, to give it back to them to help other families like us. Fundraising was a real challenge for me due to the coronavirus as I got laid off and started my own business alongside Geraint’s ailing health.
“But I’m back and after four weeks with my knees buckled in my back I will certainly do everything I can to finish in London. I would be very grateful if you would. Consider sponsoring me to help that this fantastic children’s charity is doing the work that is vital for families like mine. “
Colin Dyer, WellChild CEO, said, “It’s great that Chris is ready to run the 2021 London Marathon to help us. For many of the children, adolescents and families we sponsor, as he knows so well, coping with the day is a major challenge. On their behalf, I thank Chris for all the hard work he has done.
“The past 18 months have been a tough time for all charities as the COVID-19 pandemic has weighed heavily on our fundraising. When the crisis erupted, we lost 60 percent of our projected income. Families we supported were pressured more than we can imagine. As the world returns to a “new normal,” many of our families face persistent challenges. “
More stories from where you live can be found at Near you.