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Since Lawson has a twin, his parents could see he was taking longer than his brother to hit milestones like rolling over and starting to walk. The Jensens ‘ pediatrician suspected Lawson might be affected by cerebral palsy and referred him to the neuromotor clinic at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where he was diagnosed following further assessment. Lawson suffers from spastic diplegia cerebal palsy – a neuromuscular condition impacting the muscles in his legs.
Lawson underwent two rounds of Botox injections (the first time in his heel cords, the second time in both his heel cords and hamstrings) each followed by weeks of serial casting, which helped him keep his feet flat when he walked. In January 2015, pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Hader performed a spinal surgery to cut nerves in order to relieve muscle spasms in Lawson’s legs. In September of 2015, pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Goldstein performed a de-rotation osteotomy, which means he cut Lawson’s femurs and rotated them.
Following each of his surgeries, Lawson has been a student at Gordon Townsend School, a Calgary Board of Education school located right here in the hospital that allows many kids to keep up with their studies while undergoing rehab. Since Lawson requires daily rehabilitation and therapy, he would have to miss a lot of school to come to the hospital each day. At Gordon Townsend, he can do school work and rehab together in one place.
His mom, Megan is grateful for the opportunities provided at the school. She says the staff at Gordon Townsend is in regular contact with his teacher at his other school so that he can keep up on what his class is learning. Lawson thinks Gordon Townsend School is pretty awesome – it even has a pool! And he’s had many great experiences there as well – touching the Grey Cup, meeting an astronaut and playing in a wheelchair hockey game against the Calgary Flames!