“Cord blood helped my son’s cerebral palsy”

Desmond Tan details the improvements he has seen in his son’s movement, motor skill and muscle tone disorder.

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“My son, Ee Han, is now 7. We discovered that he has cerebral palsy when he was 3 months old. Then, we’d noticed that his neck was too soft and he couldn’t hold his head up on his own. Furthermore, he had also failed his hearing test during the first few days of his birth.

After seeking advice from a few doctors, one paediatrician said that it was highly likely he had cerebral palsy ― a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills.

We brought him to KKH for further checks and it was confirmed that he has Global Developmental Delay and Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy. An ENT doctor confirmed that he also has severe hearing loss in both his ears.

My wife and I were devastated.

I am an outgoing person and I love sports and outdoor activities. So, when the paediatrician said that Ee Han would not be able to engage in any sports, I was even more upset. But for my wife, it felt like her world had come to an end.

For my wife, it felt like her world had come to an end.”

We learnt that Ee Han would have to undergo extensive therapies and use expensive equipment, just to help him do things that normal children his age would take for granted, such as drinking from a straw, or clapping his hands.

As he got older, he started going for multiple ― including occupational, audio-verbal and feeding ― therapies. These require a long-term commitment, but they will eventually improve his motor skills and other conditions.

He uses equipment like walkers and activity chairs to help him improve his day-to-day quality of life, but such aids are usually expensive.

Ee Han does not speak because of hearing loss ― as a toddler he started making more sounds only after wearing hearing aids. Mobility wise, he only managed to sit up on his own when he was around 2, and he started to crawl using just his arms around the same time, too. He does not interact with gestures and his eyes often stare into blank space.

We sleep on mattresses on the floor, so that we don’t have to worry about him falling off the bed. We usually get around by taxi. Our public transport is good, but sometimes it just gets too crowded and we tend to get unwanted attention and sometimes insensitive comments on public transport.

Ee Han is able to stand with support, but we needed to install grab bars in the toilet. We usually prepare food that is suitable for him, or go to places that serve semi-solid food like porridge.

Click through for deets on how a cord blood infusion helped improve Ee Han’s quality of life!