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Boy with Cerebral Palsy Able to Walk Thanks To Spinal Procedure

November 24, 2015

Young David Ferland is very much into sports. He loves to play golf, challenger baseball and watch his favorite hockey team, the Buffalo Sabres. The native of Orchard Park, New York also has Cerebral Palsy and gets around with use of a walker.

He suffers from extreme spasticity in his leg muscles, which limit his ability to put his feet flat on the ground. He is forced to move around only on his tippy toes.

"He's looked at my father, my mother myself and said why didn't God give me legs that work, so that I can walk and run like the other kids," said David's mom, Lori Radwan. "How do you explain to a child that you were made this way and I can't go back and change it?"

Fortunately for David, his mother left no stone unturned. She would search all the time about new and cutting edge procedures to help her son achieve his goal, and she finally came across a procedure to free up David’s leg muscles.

This procedure involves a year of high-intensity physical therapy, but David had the attitude to complete it and be able to walk again, so the doctor’s agreed to perform the surgery.

David undergoes seven hours of delicate spinal surgery to identify and cut the nerves that are causing stiffness and spasticity in his legs that prevent him from getting his feet flat and being able to walk.

After the surgery, there's good news for David's parents. "First and foremost everything went wonderfully. He's already awake," says David's neurosurgeon, Dr. Renee Reynolds. "Overall it couldn't have gone smoother, very happy with the outcome, with everything that happened in the operating room and now we just have to see how things go after."
David has been as motivated a patient as you will meet, he undergoes PT 3-4 times a week to build his leg and core muscles up. He received a pair of leg braces featuring the Buffalo Sabres logo. Not only is he standing on two feet and walking, he has taken up a new hobby: rock climbing.

Says David simply, "I feel like I'm free, I can go walk by myself."