Malachi was able to get his MRI today and received a positive diagnosis.
Malachi has Cerebral Palsy. The basics are:
The term cerebral palsy refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination but don’t worsen over time. Even though cerebral palsy affects muscle movement, it isn’t caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements. The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with it. [ref]
While in certain cases there is no identifiable cause, typical causes include problems in intrauterine development, asphyxia (lack of oxygen due to breathing difficulty) before birth, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) of the brain, and birth trauma during labor and delivery, and complications in the perinatal period or during childhood [ref]
With all the difficulty surrounding his birth and the ensuing stay in the NICU, it’s not surprising that he sustained some permanent neurological damage.
He shows both increased resistance in some muscles (hypertonia), especially on his right side, and low muscle tone in others (hypotonia) like his neck and trunk.
The good news is that he will not get any worse than he is now, and that with physical and occupational therapy, we are likely to see improvement, but we don’t know how much. The bad news is that there is no known cure for any type of cerebral palsy and he will likely have physical limitations throughout his life. We don’t know if or when he will be able to sit up or walk or any other developmental milestone. All we can do is give him therapy and see how he responds and develops.
Thankfully, although this is news to us, it’s nothing that our heavenly Father has not already seen and planned and we are confident that he will provide our every need, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We know that this will be used to conform both us and Malachi more to the image of his Son, and will open up avenues for ministry that we’ve never had before. Your continued prayers are much appreciated at this time.