The past year has been what Ethan Kadish’s mother, Alexia, calls “a tremendous rollercoaster ride.”
Last summer, Ethan
was nearing the age of 13. He shared a love for sports and musical theater and was the type of boy who his mother says, “everyone considered a friend.”
At camp, however, he sustained a serious injury, as he was struck by lightning on a clear June day.
“We’re very hopeful for his future, but realize it is going to take a long, long time to know where we’re going,” Alexia says. “So we continue to push forward every single day.”
Since the time of his injury, Ethan has spent months in and out of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
, and his family has incurred more than 1 million dollars in medical expenses for therapies not covered by insurance.
But since mid-April, Ethan has been able to remain at home, and this August, he returned to school, as the family hopes to provide him with as many opportunities to stimulate his brain as possible.
And every little bit helps.
“When he was in the hospital last summer, he was going through this neurological episode the doctors call ‘storming,’” Alexia says. “And it’s basically where one’s brain is just trying so hard to fire up and make connections, and what results is a lot of agitation, frustration, confusion; and for Ethan, that came out in a lot of kind of moaning and crying.”
But thanks to medical treatments, various therapies and a community of volunteers
who have supported the family through their work with Team Ethan
, Ethan is now in a much better state of being.
“Ethan’s movements aren’t would I would call yet deliberate. He has movements, but they’re more reflexive versus purposeful. But he’s working so hard, and he’s vocalizing,” Alexia says. “We feel like he’s working so hard at his first words, and we’re very anxious to hear what those are going to be.”
Ethan, now 14, celebrated his birthday this past July at the Cincinnati Pops’
Broadway Sing-Along, and for the Kadish family, it was a celebration that, like many other everyday moments, reaffirms their hope for continued improvement in their son’s health.
“It was so cool and so up his alley, and the emotion on his face was just tremendous,” Alexia says. “He would smile really big, and his eyes just sparkled. It’s times like that we really just feel connected with him.”
• Support Ethan by donating to his fund at HelpHOPELive
• Read about ways to Help Team Ethan
• Support the Kadish family by attending Penny Friedman's
art show September 12 and 21 at A. Maris Design. Friedman, an energy healer, has spent hundreds of hours volunteering with Team Ethan, and 10 percent of each painting sold will be donated to Ethan's fund at HelpHOPELive. Keep up with Team Ethan's Facebook page