By Angela Rosati Barwick
Ryan Howell is a local 6 year old boy who needs your help. Minutes after being born, Ryan suffered a serious stroke. This is called an “infarction” in newborns.
This “Infarction“ causes Ryan to suffer symptoms much like someone with severe cerebral palsy. He is a bright sweet boy but is confined to a wheelchair; very challenged in normal daily activities, has never known a childhood, and is helpless as a newborn.
His father, Wesley Howell works for Time Warner Cable during the day and the House of Blues in the evening. His wife stays at home to care for Ryan.
The family has been introduced to a treatment called “Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber” or “HBOT” for short. Their doctor has given them hope that this procedure can help by bringing their son back to a better standard of life. Simple things like squeezing his Dad’s hand may soon be possible.
This chamber was originally set up for people who surface too quickly after diving in the ocean. It forces pure oxygen to the brain which can repair damaged areas of the brain. This procedure is also used to help those with spinal cord injuries after serious accidents. The HBOT procedure for a child this age is a two step phase, with each phase taking 30 days to complete. The child and mother have to go into this chamber forty times during each phase, and each session could last 30 minutes to an hour.
This procedure is not covered by any insurance because it is considered experimental. As a result, this family has to pay of pocket for the procedure. They have completed the first phase this past July with the assistance of donations, yard sales, car washes, passing a hat around the stands at local car races, anything they could to raise the money to pay for their child’s procedure.
Three benefits are now scheduled for February. The benefits are:
Sunday, February 20th from 2-4 PM
N. Strand Park, Hwy 57 (@ Hwy 9), Little River
Zumba instruction by several local teachers, refreshments, door prizes and a 50/50 raffle.
For more information, call 843-504-2141, 843-450-2622 or 843-283-0242
Saturday, February 26th
50/50 Raffle, prizes, fun
Details available by calling Ron Biller (843) 855-2020
Saturday, February 26th
House of Blues, Barefoot Landing, N. Myrtle Beach, SC
Featuring: Sinful Blue, Chronic, Sick Stooges and That’s Cool & Stuff
Tickets $5 – available at HOB box office or at door
For more information, call 843-450-2622 or 843-283-0242
Donations may be sent to:
The Ryan Howell Project, c/o Carolina First Bank – Crescent Branch, 1801 Highway 17 South, N. Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Phone 843-272-7344.
This article was also published in Alternatives NewsMagazine, Feb. 10 – 24, 2011.