Nolan just needs a shot at life
IN many ways, Nolan Rooms is like any other two-year-old boy.
He loves his cars, giggling, his mum and dad and is determined to start walking around the house like a big boy.
But for this little battler, life has already been a struggle for someone so determined to live an independent life.
His first goal - learning to crawl.
Nolan was born in March, 2012, three-and-a-half months premature. After arriving at just 26 weeks, his tiny brain was starved of oxygen, killing almost half his brain cells.
The long-term diagnosis was high-level quadriplegic cerebral palsy and doctors predicted he would be wheelchair-bound for life.
His parents, Christian and Nicole, tried all public mainstream therapies with little result and Nolan's condition slowly grew worse to the point his limbs started deforming.
Mr and Mrs Rooms could no longer watch their son go downhill, so they packed everything and moved from Townsville to the Sunshine Coast last year to access some of the best private intensive therapies they could source.
Since the start of the year they have trialled a range of treatments including kinesiology, occupational therapy, speech therapy, aqua therapy, horse riding therapy and the Neurosuit.
"We started those therapies at the beginning of the year when Nolan couldn't hold his head up, lift his arms or use any of his limps. He couldn't roll or sit up," Mr Rooms said.
"Now he can roll on his tummy, back, sit up and play and sometimes pull himself along a little bit along the floor. We are so proud of him."
But the intensive and very necessary therapies come at a hefty price, something the family is struggling to cover with only one wage as Nicole cares for Nolan full time.
They are willing to do anything they can to make Nolan's dreams to one day walk and lead an independent and happy life come true.
To help them along the way, the couple has organised a cocktail evening at Alex Surf Club Thursday night.
Tickets are $50 for a night of food, drinks, music and dancing.
The evening will raise money to cover the costs of bringing out a US expert in a new technology called the Therasuit. They met him at the start of this year.
The suit can help normalise muscle tone, re-trains the central nervous system and encourages motor skills. It has already had a huge positive effect on Nolan.
Six other families, some from as far south as Victoria, will converge on the Coast to benefit from the suit while experts are here for 10 weeks.
"It has been hard for us to build a support network on the Sunshine Coast after leaving family and friends behind us in Townsville, but the Coast has stepped up, no questions asked, and helped us get to America, and for that we were so grateful," Mr Rooms said.
"Nicole has put her career on hold for Nolan and with one wage it's hard because these treatments for Nolan consume your lives, so asking for help is hard.
"But we won't give up on Nolan.
"We didn't want to lose the fight for Nolan. I remember my wife sitting there at midnight breastfeeding Nolan, researching on the internet, searching for new therapies.
"This is not something he will do just once or for one year, this is something he will need to do for his entire life, so we are trying every therapy we can to give him the best chance."
- ACC Name: Christian E Rooms
- BSB 014707
- AccNo 284159311