When Deanna Wood from Ask Dee Florals sent a message to her clients on Facebook that she’d be shut down indefinitely to focus on her son Reggie’s recently discovered ailment, she wasn’t doing so to ask for help.

That didn’t stop the Clearwater community from rallying together behind her, however, and now she says she’s overwhelmed by the show of support.

“I’ve been weeping for two days. I never expected this,” Wood said, after the 100 People That Care group raised more than $6,000 in an hour to help the family with medical expenses.

“Shelley (Sim, organizer for 100 People That Care) approached me and asked if she could advocate for us and I was really uneasy. I’m usually the one donating. It’s hard to take help. It’s easier to help than it is to take help.”

Wood’s son Reggie, who turned 8-years-old in April, was diagnosed shortly after his birthday with Perthes disease, a rare childhood condition that affects the femur (thighbone).

She said she noticed something was off with Reggie about a year ago, which led to several trips to the doctor’s office.

“I just started noticing he didn’t look right. He was really pale and then around Halloween he started limping really badly, so I took him to the doctor for the third time,” Wood said, adding the doctor sent them away with a requisition for x rays and a referral to a pediatrician.

“I just knew something was wrong.”

The Wood family got an appointment with a pediatrician in March who realized it was Perthes though the new diagnoses didn’t seem that bad at first glance when Wood looked up information on the disease, as many children are able to overcome it without surgery.

It wasn’t until she talked to a surgeon at the Children’s Hospital that she realized it was more serious than she had first thought.

It turns out Reggie’s case is a bit more extreme than usual cases, and without surgery, he’d be confined to a life of little activity for three years, which would be next to impossible for a kid his age.

“Basically his left femoral head is like jelly, it’s deteriorating. So they have to do a five-hour surgery where they tilt the femoral head back into the socket and hopefully it’ll set. Then the femoral head will grow back,” said Wood, adding Reggie is scheduled to go for surgery on July 9 and is expected to have a recovery period of about a year.

“Going through COVID, that was my go-to: ‘Go outside and play,’ now I have to tell my son who’s a gymnast, loves running, jumping, biking, skiing, and snowboarding — you name it he does it — not to run or jump.”During recovery, Reggie won’t be allowed to bear weight on his leg and will have to use a wheelchair for possibly up to a year.Wood is already brainstorming fun activities for her son to take part in where he won’t have to put stress on his femur, while other kids in the community are playing, skiing, […]