Community support, generosity helps family with medical expenses

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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After being injured in a motor vehicle accident last May, Riven Adams is on the road to recovery after receiving help with medical equipment thanks to the public’s generosity.

“We reached our goal and were able to purchase the equipment in record time. I cannot express the gratitude and love I feel for everyone that came together and assisted us. The response was overwhelming, and it was truly phenomenal. I was and am still in awe of the love we received,” Bronwyn Bell-Adams said.

The “Machine” as the family calls it was shipped from Baltimore, Maryland, the first week of October. Bell said she received a phone call from her sales representative, Stas, soon after UPS delivered it to their home.

“I was instructed not to open it. He has been helping me for several months and knew how excited we were to finally have it here. It was difficult; however, we wanted everything to be perfect, so we waited. Our technician John came from Atlanta to set up the equipment and teach us how to use it Oct. 23.”

Riven Adams concentrates on the screen of the RT300 machine he received. Riven’s mother Bronwyn Bell-Adams launched a GoFundMe page to help with her son’s medical expenses.

The machine is an RT300 FES, which stands for functional electrical stimulation. It is connected to the Internet, so it can communicate with Restorative Therapies and Children’s of Alabama.

“This way, they can monitor the stimulation, his muscle response, and coordinate with his physical therapist, rehabilitation doctors, and the technicians. It is very much like a souped-up stationary bike. There are 12 different leads we attach to his six different muscle groups symmetrically that cause his muscles to contract as his legs are moving in the pedals. This occurs the same way they would before he was injured. It takes us approximately 15 minutes to set up and get his pads put on and leads attached. He engages for a 30 to 45-minute session, and then, it takes us about 15 minutes to get everything unhooked and put away,” Bell said.

He has achieved all of his goals in physical therapy rehabilitation for his condition and is no longer eligible for intense outpatient therapy. The family was traveling three hours one way to the facility, which became very tiring for Riven.

Riven is 11 years old and a fifth-grade student at Straughn Elementary School. He and his mother bond with each other while getting the equipment prepared daily.

Adams follows the screen of his RT300 machine and uses his legs to move in the pedals. A dozen different leads attached to six different muscle groups causes his muscles to contract similar to the way they would prior to his accident.

“He is able to help me with most of the setup, so we do it together. There is a touchscreen tablet mounted to the top. We can monitor all the controls, and it has a man riding a bicycle around a town while pedaling to encourage his mind to make neural connections with the movements his body is making. It is a fascinating piece of equipment.”

Bell added having the equipment would make an impact as Riven moves forward with his daily activities. His rehabilitation physician prescribed the RT-300 to help rectify scoliosis he developed as a result of the accident. He lost all muscle tone in his lower body, and the machine is designed to aid in rebuilding muscle structure in his abdomen, buttocks, and legs. After spending two weeks at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, Riven’s parents wanted to make sure this would be the best choice.

“This amazing piece of equipment is a godsend for us. Riven’s lower-body muscle structure has atrophied due to non-use. The stimulation provided by the machine will retrain and condition his muscle groups. It will be beneficial to his muscle structure, bone integrity, limberness, digestion, and general well-being. It will help him to be the best candidate possible for research trials should we make that decision. Most importantly, Riven says, ‘It’s going to make me strong and ready for when I start walking again.’”

The family was thankful for many things this year at Thanksgiving.

Adams loves spending time with his dog, Waylon. The two are always happy to have their quality time.

“We have each other and Riven is happy, healthy, and on the road to recovery. We have so many people who have shown us love and support and are truly blessed. We have a wonderful family and an amazing community. I am humbled and so very grateful for all of the help we received from old friends and new friends. Many donations were anonymous, so please know how grateful we are,” she said.

For more information about Riven’s journey e-mail

“My favorite thing to tell Riven many times a day is that love is all around you. I hope you all feel our love and well wishes for safe and happy holidays. Thank you for making this possible for us,” Bell said.