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Community rallies around struggling family

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Therapies, rehabilitation and specialty medical care are just a few of the extra costs that parents face when raising children with special needs. Tom and Violet Fuchs of Lantana were already dealing with those issues in raising their disabled 10 year old son Christian when matters were complicated as Tom lost his job at the end of September.

The Fuchs family, which also includes 6 year old Martin, are facing difficult times as they deal not only with the loss of income but also with their son’s severe cerebral palsy and a rare disorder called Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome, associated with severe gout and kidney problems along with poor muscle control and moderate mental retardation. A particularly striking feature of LNS is self-mutilating behaviors, characterized by lip and finger biting. Chris’s mother Violet doesn’t work because her son, who uses a wheelchair, requires constant vigilant care.

Neighbor Rachel McPhail said Violet is exhausted physically and emotionally. “She constantly has to carry Chris and hold him in bed at night as he doesn’t sleep well at all. She gets about 2 hours of sleep herself, often having to restrain Chris’ arms and legs so they both can sleep without injury,” said McPhail.

Even though Chris, who attends Hawk Elementary in Corinth, can’t actually run and play or even use his hand to work video game controls, McPhail said he loves to watch other children play. 

“If you meet Chris, you would notice facial grimacing, involuntary writhing, and repetitive movements of the arms and legs similar to those seen in Huntington’s disease.  The LNS makes these symptoms more exaggerated as the build-up of uric acid in his system causes a tremendous amount of pain,” McPhail added.

Tom Fuchs said those movements of his son’s arms and legs make it impossible for Chris to actually  play video games himself, but that doesn’t stop him from getting enjoyment out of watching others.   “I have to step in and become his hands,” Fuchs said.

All of these challenges were being managed by the Fuchs, but their situation deteriorated when Tom lost his job of 8 years as a Vice President at Hollman Inc, a manufacturer for Racquetball courts and wood lockers.  Now their friends and neighbors in Lantana are coming  together  to help where needed. 

 “It is vital that we keep them in their home as it is handicap accessible, and keep the electricity and water on especially for the special needs of Chris. This family needs the community to come together to provide meals or cash/food donations to get them through this difficult time,” said McPhail, who lives right across the street from the family.

She said if people would like to make a cash donation  to help pay mortgage and utilities, that can be done by sending contributions in c/o Rachel McPhail / 1206 Burnett Rd / Lantana, TX 76226 or Courtney Warrington 1201 Burnett Rd / Lantana, TX 76226.

Those who would like to provide a meal for the family can access Tom & Violet Fuchs’s personal CareCalendar site, http://carecalendar.org/logon/52485 and enter the following information in the appropriate spaces: CALENDAR ID:  52485 – SECURITY CODE:  1036

Tom’s resume is also available online at www.linkedin.com/in/tommfuchs.

Fuchs, who used to work in the hospitality industry, said he and his wife are hopeful that their financial situation will soon turn around.

“I am looking and hoping for a new challenge here in the area. My specialties are operation, turnaround of underperforming departments, staff guidance and development, planning and sales. I would love to be able one way or the other to be connected again to the hospitality industry, but I am also very comfortable in manufacturing,” he said. 

“In this spirit we are hopeful that God will guide us the way and will stand by us. We are certain a new door will open, and I will again be able to provide for my family on my own. This is all I can wish for, to get a chance at a good stable company where I can apply my talents. With God’s help we will find something.”

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