Isaac is in pain every day due to a rare and horrible disease called Perthes’. It has forced him to stop doing what he loves and put restrictions on his life. So, when Satan’s Little Helper heard about all he has to endure, we wanted to do something to help!
In November 2022, Isaac was doing what makes him happiest – playing sport. An innocuous playground football match ended with him on the ground, struggling to get up because he was in so much pain after kicking a ball.
“We watched him over the next few days and he couldn’t shake his limp”, explains his mum Jess. “It was so bad at times that it looked like he was putting it on, but he wasn’t.”
Jess says she really knew something was up when he couldn’t do something that almost every every kid tries – sneaking off with some lollies from the kitchen jar.
“He went to run away and just stopped dead in his tracks, because he was in so much pain.”
Isaac was taken to his doctor, who was perplexed; as was the physio, who eventually sent him for a scan.
“Within a couple of hours of the scan, we got word back that Isaac had Perthes’.”
Perthes’ is a terrible condition that affects the hip. It occurs when the blood supply to the top of the thigh is disrupted, which causes the bone to die. As you can imagine, it’s not a pleasant sensation.
“Right now, the ball at the top of his thigh joint is dying off and the body is reabsorbing the bone” says Jess. “ At times, it can be hard for him to get through the day, and school is mentally and physically tiring. It’s been a real rollercoaster.”
Can’t join in
Being confined to crutches and told not to join in on sports and games has been tough for Isaac.
“He’s had to put the things he lives for on hold,” says Jess. “But we encourage him to look at things differently and look for alternatives so he doesn’t miss out too much.”
He’s also had to undergo extensive surgery called femur osteotomy, which took five hours, to try to increase blood flow to his hip joint to help the bone heal when it eventually grows back.
But none of has helped Isaac’s pain, or his frustration.
Swimming can help, but Isaac and Jess faced a journey to the pool that added significant time to their day and often left him more tired at the end of it.
To give Isaac an option closer to home to help relieve some pain, and make him feel like more of his old self, Satan’s Little Helper sent an inflatable spa pool!
“To have that in our backyard is a game changer,” says Jess. “Over the past few weeks, he seems so much settled and happier. He’s in less pain, his mobility has improved, and he can socialise in a way he couldn’t before. He has friends over and they hang out in the spa together."
Isaac has already had heaps of mates over – and says he’s loving the pool!
“I love the bubbles. It makes me feel relaxed and it makes me feel nice. Also, when I use it, my leg feels a lot better.”
Jess says it’s been cool to see the difference in her boy, even over a short period of time.
“To see him have fun with his friends was a real highlight for me. He’s a tough, resilient kid, and I know he’ll come out of this stronger, but that doesn’t stop me from getting sad for him.
“Every day is different in terms of pain levels and mobility restrictions. Some days are awful, some are better. But I know the tub calms him, soothes him and helps him and that has been so important.”