Help Hessel to live his life.
Because of online gaming, Hessel has many friends worldwide. Therefore, here is the story in English.
Goal of the crowdfunding campaign:
Renovation/extension of a house with special shower and sleeping and accommodation facilities for a young man of 20 years with a complete spinal cord injury caused by an epileptic attack. Total costs €150,000.
On April the 19th, our son Hessel (2001) fell down during an epileptic attack and broke the neck resulting in a complete spinal cord injury. He is 90% paralyzed and only moves his arms slightly. To be able to care for him at home 24/7, we need an extension to our house and a lot of renovation. We want to achieve this through this whydonate campaign. Hopefully he can go home within 6-8 months. So take action!
My name is René Palland, 60 years old, father from Hessel.
Out family lives in ’t Harde, a little city between Harderwijk and Zwolle in The Netherlands . We have 3 children, a daughter and two sons.This page is in English at Hessel’s request because he has many friends all over the world.
Hessel was 11 years old, a friendly, healthy Dutch boy, group 7 of primary education and at the beginning of his life. Until one morning when his sister hears a thump from her brother’s bedroom. That happens often, but she notices another strange sound, she doesn’t know it and goes to look. Two seconds later, a cry comes from the mouth of the 10-year-old sister…. “Daddy, there’s something wrong with Hessel!!!”
Mom and Dad run upstairs. His sister has shifted the trembling, convulsing Hessel. Her face looks panicked. Emotion.
The sound she heard was Hessel vibrating against his loft ladder, the thump was probably caused by the seizure while falling down the stairs from his bed.
Mom and Dad also don’t know what’s going on and immediately call the emergency number. Hessel slowly calms down but is not approachable, what’s going on?
The ambulance takes Hessel, mommy goes with them. Daddy helps the other two children to school and also leaves for the hospital.
After an examination in the hospital, it is provisionally determined that it may be epilepsy, but the doctors have not yet given that diagnosis in the case of one attack. After a day in the hospital, Hessel goes home again. The loft bed disappears and makes way for an ordinary bed.
It doesn’t take long before Hessel has the next attack and this time his younger sister is also there. Because the previous time it was indicated to call the emergency number immediately, the ambulance with Hessel leaves again for the hospital a little later. Again, examinations and scans take place and linked to this the definitive diagnosis of epilepsy.
Hessel is allowed to go home again with the medication prescribed by the neurologist to control the epilepsy. Just before the school camp, Hessel has an epileptic seizure on his bicycle, hits the asphalt and suffers a concussion. And an attack in the classroom at school is also not long in coming. Because the school is aware of his epilepsy and the teacher attaches a kind of biology lesson to it, the panic among the students in the class is not too bad.
In the meantime, Dad has also informed and find out few things and an appointment is made with the epilepsy clinic SEIN in Zwolle. Specialized in epilepsy and sleep medicine.
Research follows and the medication is better coordinated. Hessel has several small seizures a day, but the new medication makes it easier to control seizures. Once till three times a year, an attack slips in between and Hessel goes down.
And then you have epilepsy with its many limitations;
• Yes, as a 19-year-old car enthusiast, you finally have driving lessons, but you decide not to get your driver’s license, afraid that something will happen to someone else if you have an attack while driving.
• Yes you take medication several times a day.
• Yes you have an employer who understands you and gives you a job.
• Yes you occasionally fall upside down or off your bike as a result of an attack.
• Yes you have plans to go on holiday alone for the first time.
• Yes you have a whole life ahead of you.
• And then this happens…………
On April 19th. Hessel has an epileptic seizure early in the morning while brushing his teeth. A big thwack. Fortunately, parents who are still at home, immediately run up the stairs.
Hessel is lying on the floor in the bathroom, head pressed against the wall. An epileptic seizure. But Daddy immediately sees something that is different. His legs don’t join the attack, that’s not normal……. After a minute and a half, the attack is over.
Hessel recovers a bit. He doesn’t feel his legs and get lost again.
Doctor called. It is said that it is possible that the legs stiffen during an attack, just looking at it for 10 minutes is the advice. Hessel comes to his senses again but does not feel his legs at all. The 10 minutes not waited, the doctor called again.
The doctor also sees, this is not good. Immediately she called for an ambulance and shortly afterwards again, Priority1. So hurry up: hurry is advised. Again in the ambulance to the hospital.
In the emergency room it soon becomes clear that it is not good, a CT scan is made and consultations are held with other hospitals and doctors.
Taking more pictures and now also an MRI scan.
Hessel’s neck is broken. The neck is broken in several places at the top; a spinal cord injury! As parents, your world collapses when you see your child, even if he is already 20, lying like he does, you’re broke.
A surgeon reports, he can still operate on him later today.
Back in the ambulance because in the hospital in Harderwijk, where he was taken by the ambulance, that operation cannot take place there.
Hessel is brought to Zwolle. Then the long wait begins, the operation will take place later in the afternoon when the other planned operations have been completed.
Grueling hours. Could he still walk? They can be a lot of encouraging comments these days. Wait, can’t say anything yet.
At half past five it is finally time. To the operating room. “You go home, we’ll call you when the surgeon is ready”. That will be around half past ten in the evening, the operation was successful, Hessel is recovering.
You may visit him now and the parents went to the hospital again late at night, it will not be the last time. From recovery to Intensive Care. Complications are reported and they can better monitor this in the IC.
After a few days, Hessel lies with his head and neck in a brace, he can happily go on to the neurosurgery department. Rest, heal, strengthen and see what the damage is. As a parent, you do not leave your child’s side. Hessel must lie on his back, head still braced. What if he’s going to have an epileptic seizure right now, your mind is haunted. You can’t just turn him on his side, which could cause him to choke during an attack. Extra worry and fear. The healing of the neck is slow but steady. It takes about 3 months or so.
Slowly it begins to dawn on what the real damage is.
However, Hessel already has a very strong motivation to get better in IC.
It is clear from the first moment that he may no longer be able to use his legs. “As long as I can move my hands and fingers again,” he says. Computers, his job, website development and gaming are his passion and his life.
He can soon move his arms a bit again, the biceps are still functional, but the triceps are switched off, so that controlled bending and extension of the arms is not possible. There is feeling in a number of fingers but he cannot move them yet. The wrists do move a little bit.
Because of his enormous optimism and urge to get the most out of it, he is ready to continue to the rehabilitation center after about 4 weeks. It is now clear that a large part of the body is disabled. The hope is pinned on rehabilitation. The brace has been exchanged for a softer neck collar shape. A metalplate is placed in the neck and served into 2 cervical vertebrae to support those vertebrae in the recovery process. The shattered vertebra has been replaced by a plastic one.
The vertebrae together should grow together in the coming months and give back strength to the neck.
By helping Hessel daily with exercises where possible and by keeping him moving, the hope is that functions may return. Photos will be taken again in the 4th week.
Result: Hessel will never be able to walk again.
Bam! That message hits hard. “As long as I can move my hands and fingers again” is what remains.
He is now also able to sit in a wheelchair for a while. It requires an enormous effort. He can also do a few things on a laptop with special pens that are made with a strap on his hand. Connect with friends all over the world! Hessel is very happy with that.
As parents, you are already looking at how things should continue in the future.
There are 1001 questions. Reading about having ‘a spinal cord injury’ soon makes it clear that lot go things should be arranged. For example, there are only a few doors at home that a wheelchair can pass through. And then we are not even talking about all kinds of other adjustments to, among other things, the bathroom, bedroom, special lifts and other facilities.
It’s 6 weeks now, we receive a message that there is room at the Hoogstraat rehabilitation center in Utrecht. Because Hessel can only be transported lying down, this again becomes an ambulance ride.
In the first few days, many investigations are carried out to see what works and what does not and what the rehabilitation doctors in the Hoogstraat see as possibilities for the future.
Unfortunately, the result is not so positive, there is more damage than we thought.
90% of the body can no longer move and will no longer do so. The fingers Hessel hoped for are part of that and are no longer involved.
A very small bright spot are possible operations in which nerves and muscles are repositioned for a very small amount of movement. A percent better with an operation process of a few years.
First rehabilitate or actually improve the few functions that are still there. Becoming mobile, learning to drive a wheelchair, maybe being able to bring a piece of bread to your mouth, maintain your lung functions with aids, maybe…….
• Never be able to take your medicines yourself again.
• Never go to the toilet yourself again.
• Never eat yourself again.
• Never go on holiday yourself again.
• Never get into a car yourself again.
• Never go to your own bedroom again.
• Never again………
With some handy tools, Hessel can work a little bit on his laptop and telephone. A kind of pointer is tied around his hand with a strap.
Contact with friends, gaming, coding, it all takes a lot of effort, but it works. “I can probably program again”, he says optimistically, “maybe work again”. The first rehabilitation process will probably take 6 to 10 months. Hessel remains optimistic and motivated, we have a lot of respect, ‘I’ll be home by Christmas’!!
That is not yet just 1,2,3 arranged. It is no longer possible to go to his bedroom on the first floor. And downstairs the house is too small for a wheelchair to enter; doors too narrow, difference in height, the space too small to be able to turn with a wheelchair.
Hessel will need 24/7 care, when eating, going to the toilet, taking a shower and so on. Fortunately, we are blessed with a large piece of garden because that is where the solution lies for us and for Hessel. This means using a large piece of garden to realize an extension to the existing house, where a bathroom, bedroom and a living room can be created for Hessel with all necessary facilities such as a ceiling lift, adapted shower, toilet room and, if the weather is possible, a workplace.
As parents we can give him as much care as possible together with home care. Then he might still be able to participate in society despite the limitations that will be there.
And Hessel, if it works out, maybe he can work from home in his own field: designing and building websites.
The total cost of the construction is estimated at €150,000,- a considerable amount is needed to let Hessel live at home.
That’s why this crowdfunding.
Dear readers, family, friends, acquaintances and the ordinary visitor to this website, would you like to help with that so that we can realize this?
Every bit helps.
Go to 123thuis.nl , Helps Hessel going home!
The goal of the action is to realize the living space for Hessel.
If a positive result remains, this will be used to support other young people and their parents with epilepsy in a similar situation.