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Bryce's brave battle with Spina Bifida

FAMILY SUPPORT: Bryce Cranney (front) and his mother Tara McLennan and stepfather Ben McLennan and step sister Maia, 2 and step brother, Cooper, 4 at their home in Lawrence.
FAMILY SUPPORT: Bryce Cranney (front) and his mother Tara McLennan and stepfather Ben McLennan and step sister Maia, 2 and step brother, Cooper, 4 at their home in Lawrence.

BRYCE Cranney is just a normal seven-year-old boy.

He loves to run around on his grandparents' farm, kick the football, play with his friends and go fishing with his loved ones.

But tragically Bryce was born with a Spina Bifida which has begun to take its toll.

When he was just a one-year-old Bryce underwent his first surgery for Spina Bifida to detether his spinal cord.

The initial surgery eased Bryce's early childhood, however at the beginning of last year his condition began to worsen.

He underwent a second surgery in June last year to remove more of the lipoma in his spinal canal and again detether his spinal cord. However for young Bryce there were complications in the surgery which meant he had to undergo a second surgery on his spinal canal that week.

The seven-year-old Lawrence resident understands a lot of what is happening to him. He knows it can't be stopped, he knows there will be more surgeries and he knows it is not going to get easier in the near future.

But for now Bryce is trying to see the best in the situation and his mother and stepfather, Tara and Ben McLennan could not be prouder of his efforts.

"It is very scary," Mrs McLennan said. "We certainly have our tough times with the disease. He went through so much last year with the surgeries and all the time we spent in hospital.

"Bryce and I were away from home for a total of six weeks last year. We spent three weeks in a hospital in Sydney seeing specialists and then another three weeks in hospital up here. It was so tough on him and our family.

"He is doing really well at the moment. He is still trying to get outside to run around and play with his friends. He is coping so well with everything it is amazing."

The McLennan's still do not know the full extent of Bryce's condition and what the future holds for their young son and that is quite possibly the scariest part of the process.

"No one really knows how bad his condition could get," Mrs McLennan said. "At the moment his condition is tough enough - he has to be catheterised five times a day and he isn't ablle to do things most kids his age can do. Signals from his brain have trouble making it to his lower body.

"We're going to Sydney in mid-April to get another opinion on his condition from a specialist surgeon. Honestly we just have to get him to wherever is going to give him the best treatment and the best care.

"We have a great relationship with Bryce's surgeon who has been seeing him since he was a baby. So it makes it very difficult to take him somewhere else.

"We're talking about taking him overseas to America because they have some of the world's best Spina Bifida surgeons. But it is so hard to put your child's life in the hands of a medical system you don't know, in the hands of people you don't know."

Topics:  spina bifida


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