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Guelph family one step closer to life-changing surgery for son

Last Updated Apr 18, 2017 at 9:45 am EST

Photo from @BentleysJourney/Twitter.

By Martin Bauman

Thanks to the community’s support, a four-year-old Guelph boy will have a life-changing operation.

The Mitchells were told by doctors that their son Bentley may never even talk or crawl, after he was born three months prematurely and later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He’s done both and more, but now the hope is he’ll be able to walk unassisted.

LISTEN: Chad Mitchell speaks about his son Bentley

After running out of options locally and starting an online fundraiser in June, they’ve now raised $125,000 for a surgery in St. Louis that should allow that to happen. The procedure, known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, is intended to eliminate the spasticity in his legs and allow him to walk pain-free.

Bentley’s father, Chad Mitchell, says you couldn’t imagine the emotional journey this has taken them on:

“He’s grown so much in the last couple of months, having exposure to all these people. He’s very social, so it’s great to see, and great to have that ability to have an interaction with him, because he’s so much fun and has such a charisma about him.”

Bentley will undergo surgery on December 15, and the Mitchells will remain in St. Louis for five weeks.

Mitchell says he never imagined the stories that would come out of this:

“People in Guelph hold movie nights in their backyards, camp kids doing garage sales, local families doing garage sales, kids showing up to events that we’re at and giving their birthday money… the stories have been so phenomenal.”