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Block and move

Countless hospital trips and treatments have understandably led to an intense fear of needles for 11-year-old Lucas, who suffers from a condition that severely limits his mobility. To help him block out the needles and move a little easier, Satan’s Little Helper sent a care package.

Lucas Shotter with his Satan's Little Helper gifts

In March 2022, Lucas was doing something completely normal – playing touch rugby. During the game, he developed a limp and five days later he was in A&E.


“Doctors initially thought it might be growing pains,” explains his mum, Jaclyn. But when Lucas started vomiting from the pain, everyone realised it was something far more serious.


“He was admitted to the children’s ward for an MRI scan, which showed lesions on his pelvis,” adds Jaclyn.


Lucas spent three weeks in the hospital with no answers. At that point, he was constantly on the verge of fainting from his “10/10 pain”.


Bed-ridden and confined to hospital, while experiencing sleepless nights, it was a terrible time.


No cancer - but pain remained


By now, the near-constant “tests, CT scans, MRI, pokes and prods” had ruled out bone cancer. It was only after a bone biopsy that the cause of Lucas’s trauma was revealed – chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO).


“CRMO is a rare bone disease; only around 200 people in New Zealand have it,” says Jaclyn.

It’s an autoimmune disease, which causes inflammation of the bone. It can lead to abnormal bone growth, deformity or fractures.


Lucas is currently treated with an intense regime of anti-inflammatory medication. To ensure it’s not damaging his liver or kidney function, he needs regular blood tests. That means needles, of which Lucas is now terrified.


To help calm his fears, Satan’s Little Helper got Lucas a device called Buzzy 4 Shots, a small vibrating device, which helps block sharp pain and provides distraction from injections.


Block so Lucas can move


“The Buzzy will be a huge comfort. He had a blood test the other day and it helped soothe him a lot," Says Jaclyn.


“Lucas may also need to go on monthly infusions of Pamidronate, and the Buzzy will be a huge help if that happens.”


Before his disease, Lucas loved playing sport. He was an excellent cross-country runner and an avid touch rugby player.


To give him a physical outlet, and a way to build up strength in his legs, Satan’s Little Helper also sent a seated elliptical trainer, which works a lot like an exercise bike.


“It’s helping him regain strength in his legs, and he finds it easier than walking. It also keeps his hips rotating as they should and helps to keep him as mobile as possible.”


Each day as it comes


Lucas has been through an incredible ordeal over the past 12 months. He’s feeling better, although the unpredictable nature of his condition means there’ll always be good and bad days.


“He’s going to high school next year and the CRMO has affected him emotionally and socially. My biggest aim now is to build him back up,” says Jaclyn.


With Buzz 4 Shots and his elliptical trainer, she has two more items in her toolbox to do just that.

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