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What Brantly wants you to know about Spina Bifida

October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month and we wanted to highlight our Champion Child Brantly! Spina bifida is a condition present at birth when there are problems with the spine, spinal cord, and the surrounding nerves. It can cause part of the spinal cord and areas around it to form outside of the body. It can happen anywhere along the spine and causes muscle weakness of the legs and sometimes paralysis.
Each person with spina bifida has a different level of paralysis as it is determined by which nerves are effected. Some require a wheelchair for mobility, others need a walker or crutches, some need braces, or others may not need anything at all.
Brantly’s spine was open from about the level of his ribs to the end of his spine! So he is paralyzed from his belly button down, inside and out. That means his hips, legs, feet, bowels, bladder, and skin are paralyzed. This is why he uses a wheelchair for mobility! And when asked what he wants people to know about having spina bifida he said, “I want everyone to know that being in a wheelchair is FUN!!”
This video may be a few years old, Brantly is now eight years old, but we thought it showed his personality and spirit. He is not someone who let’s anything slow him down. If there’s something he wants to accomplish he just adapts and does it. He’s definitely a wonderful representative of WVU Medicine Children’s and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.