Following stem cell treatment at NeuroGen in Mumbai in August, seven-year-old Antoni van Reenen from Brackenfell has been making great progress.
With little help, Antoni is now able to recognise what is going on around him and he is able to stand for longer, his mother, Marili van Reenen, says.
“We are training him to go to the toilet. He is now sometimes able to hold in his pee from when we go out until we get home. Antoni likes standing next to his bed and playing with his toys.”
Van Reenen’s father, Mauritz, says that he also sees improvement in his little boy.
“Like when you call his name, he responds and if you are behind him, he is now able to turn his head further back. He sometimes laughs at you too.”
The little boy was injured at birth and was left with brain damage, cerebral palsy and vocal cord paralyses, due to alleged oxygen negligence.
“When we went for the treatment, I went with no expectations, and now Antoni is making such great progress. I was scared of going to Mumbai, but now I am glad I did,” Marili says.
She says Antoni still goes for physiotherapy. He should be going at least twice a week, but they can only afford to take him once a week. “I also do my best to do the exercises with him at home, but it is sometimes hard when I have no help. He needs to go for therapy sessions at least twice a week.”
Marili says that with Antoni growing bigger, they need a bigger car because it is sometimes difficult to get him in and out of their vehicle. “We are trying to sell our car so that we can buy a bakkie where we will have space, because the physiotherapist says we should take Antoni’s walker everywhere we go so he can walk by himself. Because the walker is so big it does not fit in our car.”
Marili syas they are grateful to Prof. Pieter Fourie who has been working with Antoni, as well as for all the assistance and support they have been receiving from everyone.
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