BEND, Ore. - The name Stryder Doescher may be familiar to NewsChannel 21 viewers from stories over the past six years about the little boy's health challenges and how Central Oregonians have time and again stepped up to help his family.
Stryder, now 11, already has undergone brain and neck surgery, but he's heading back to New York City on Wednesday to consult with a neurosurgeon about another possible operation.
Local health professionals have told the family another surgery in Stryder’s current state would be too risky.
His mother, Angela Doescher, said Monday his latest MRI shows his neck is dislocating because of his connective tissue. He is on an oxygen tank 24 hours a day, watched by a personal caretaker, and gets two IVs a day. Stryder’s fluctuating blood pressure also makes him at high risk for a stroke.
"He's been in the doctor's when they told him to cherish the days, because he could have a stroke at any moment," Doescher said. "He asked me a couple days later, 'Don’t people die from a stroke?' And I said, 'Sometimes, and sometimes not.'"
The family hopes the neurosurgeon in New York will be able to tell them whether the surgery would be possible in his current condition.
"When we go to a doctor, I’m always hopeful, but I’m also realistic," Doescher said. "You know, we’ve been down (that road) long enough where we thought he’d be OK, and he’s not."
NewsChannel 21 has reported on the boy’s battle with rare health disorders, including Landau-Kleffner syndrome, over the years. Stryder struggles with silent, brain-damaging seizures, but has received overwhelming support from his community.
Stryder was 5 years old when NewsChannel 21 met with him and his mother, then living in Prineville, to hear about the community’s efforts in helping him fulfill his wish of going to Disneyland on his birthday.
After that trip, the family headed to the East Coast for Stryder’s heart surgery. The next year, Stryder and his family raised money by creating T-shirts with the words, “We Love Stryder” for his previous brain surgery in New York City.