Concert to benefit boy with cerebral palsy

Published 1:26 pm Friday, March 30, 2007

A special benefit concert at the Vidalia Riverwalk Amphitheatre at 3 p.m. Saturday will raise money for one special 2-year-old boy.

“I’m hoping people can come and meet Nicholas and see what he’s like now, and then see him afterward and see how therapy has made improvements. That’s my prayer. It’s all in God’s hands,” Nicholas’ mom, Jayna Stogner said.

Nicholas was born premature and weighed just three pounds and one ounce. Jayna said she noticed his head was swelling when he was two weeks old, and he was taken by helicopter to Jackson to spend five weeks at a hospital there.

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“He had a shunt put in to drain the fluid off his brain into his abdominal area, where the body can take care of that fluid. He’s also had seizures since he was two weeks old. One day, I was watching the Montel Williams show and heard about a girl on there who had this oxygen therapy and it really helped her out a lot. I started researching it, and thought it would be great for Nicholas,” she said

Nicholas and his mom will travel to Lauderdale-By-the-Sea, Fla. for the therapy on April 25 by way of Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization that arranges transportation to medical treatment, and his grandparents will be driving. They will return home May 19.

The concert, put on by Parkway Baptist Church, is a free event featuring three musical acts — Musica Davina, a flute and harp duo; Wesley Strebeck on acoustic guitar; and Jason Nix, also on guitar.

“The concert is free, and we will be taking donations,” said LaDonna Townsend, who attends Parkway Baptist and helped organize the concert.

“The reason we chose this location and time is because, coupled with our interest in Nicholas, we were also interested in providing a family-oriented event for the community.”

All donations will go toward Nicholas and his family.

In Florida, Nicholas will receive two types of treatment for his cerebral palsy — hyperbaric oxygen therapy and TheraSuit.

The hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses a special chamber that allows a person to get high levels of oxygen in the blood. It is designed to help improve cognitive and social function in children with chronic brain injuries. The TheraSuit is a special suit that helps improve and change pressure in the joints, ligaments and muscles.

“We’re so excited about this trip” Jayna said. “We hope that it helps him.”

Townsend said they are hoping for a good turnout at the concert, and hope to raise the rest of the funds that the Stogner family needs.

In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the church.