Efforts underway to raise funds for family’s medical expenses
Published 7:30 am Saturday, September 18, 2021
For 11-year-old Riven Adams, a motor vehicle accident in May 2020 completely changed the course of his life.
Adams sustained life-threatening internal injuries, which have now healed. However, he also sustained a spinal cord injury, which left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Riven’s mother Bronwyn Bell-Adams said her son is a life-loving and outgoing child.
“He is an absolute joy and is always smiling and working hard to be independent. He loves to be with his classmates at school, watch his teammates play sports, and play with his crazy dogs. He remains positive and optimistic about the future. He is the class clown and flirt,” Bell said.
Until the accident, he played in the Straughn Peewee Football Club and was also a member of the basketball, soccer, and swim teams. Bell said, “He is an all-around athlete, and his greatest aspiration has always been to play football in the NFL.” She added that he has achieved all of his goals in physical therapy rehabilitation for his condition.
According to her, there are several challenges Riven faces on a daily basis. “His level of paralysis is at T7 and diagnosed as complete. This means that he has no sensation or feeling below his chest. He is wheelchair-bound and has a specialized chair that supports his spine. Every aspect of his life is different, and he now must have assistance with all activities of daily living.”
She said he is able to stay half a day at school, and they are hopeful he will be able to go a full day in the future. “He loves being with his classmates and hates missing any time with them. All of his classmates at Straughn Elementary have been very supportive and caring. They help him maneuver his chair at school and make him feel included in all they can. Every day brings new challenges, but we meet them with tenacity and a smile.”
She also shared that Riven has developed scoliosis due to the accident and that it impacts his bodily functions. Bell said, “He has lost all muscle tone in his lower body. It would rebuild his muscle structure in his abdomen, buttocks, and legs. We spent 2 weeks in Birmingham at Children’s Hospital making sure this would be the best choice for him.”
The family has had a very difficult time coping with the accident, and Bell said not one member has not been affected. “As his mother, my heart hurts a lot, but I stay positive and thank God I still have him. The outcome could have been a much different one. We have phenomenal family support. Everyone works together to make sure we succeed. It was a horrific, life-changing accident; however, I know we have learned many things from it. One of the greatest lessons has been what a loving, kind, and supportive community we are a part of.”
Bell said he is no longer eligible for intense outpatient therapy. “We have been traveling 3 hours one day to our facility. It gets tiring for him to sit in the vehicle for this amount of time. His rehabilitation physician has prescribed a piece of equipment that would have a dramatic impact on his daily life,” she stated.
Riven’s Recovery has been set up as a GoFundMe page to help with those expenses for his physical therapy equipment. Bell said the machine their rehabilitation physician prescribed is an RT-300-FES (Restorative Therapies Functional Electrical Stimulation) at a cost of approximately $30,000 and would not be covered by insurance.
Those who would rather donate in person can also visit Covington County Bank in Andalusia to make a donation to an account set up in Riven Adams’ name or contact Bronwyn Bell-Adams directly at 334-892-6224.
“It is a stationary bike that will attach to his wheelchair. It has electrodes that attach to muscles in his abdomen and legs. The electrodes in combination with the movement from the stationary bike with rebuild and maintain muscle mass in his lower body. We will be able to use the equipment every day at home, which will provide the optimum results.”
The family went to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham in early June for 2 weeks and had very positive results with trial runs. Bell said, “His team of physicians along with us believes this will be the best option for his overall health, as well as, making sure we are strong and the best candidate for whatever may come in the future.”
For more information about Riven’s journey or to offer assistance, visit the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/rivens-recovery. “We are so very thankful to our family, friends, friends we don’t know yet, and incredible community. This has been such an adventure in every sense of the words. The support and love we have felt are breathtaking at times. Thank you to each and every one of you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers and loving us,” Bell said.