Hello, my name is Toby Holt, and I’m 11 years old. I love Star Wars, Minecraft, playing Star Wars Battle Front on the Xbox, Legos, board games and being with friends. I play Miracle League Baseball, wheelchair track, and sled hockey. When I grow up I want to go into the medical field, maybe even be a doctor.
I was born with a condition called Spina Bifida, which is where the bones around my spinal cord didn’t fuse together and caused an open hole at birth. I also have hydrocephalus.
When I was 2 ½ weeks old, I went into respiratory failure, and spent 64 days at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. My airway was collapsing, my vocal cords were paralyzed, and I required a trach tube to help me breathe, a feeding tube in my stomach to eat, and a ventilator to keep me alive. I have a condition called Central Sleep Apnea, which means my brain doesn’t tell my body to breathe when I’m in a deep sleep.
Over my lifetime, I have faced 39 surgeries, multiple hospital stays, and major medical events like a bowel obstruction, abdominal surgeries, multiple shunt surgeries, a four to six-hour convulsive seizure the doctors had difficulty stopping, and scoliosis. In the summer of 2018, my shunt tubing had to be moved from my abdomen to my heart. As a result of scoliosis, I have special rods in my back called VEPTR, that keep my back straight, but that also require surgery several times a year to grow.
Even through all of that, my disability doesn’t define who I am. I use a wheelchair to get around and love doing wheelies. I am so excited because I’ve been telling my parents for a long time that I would love to have a service dog. A service dog will help me open doors, retrieve things I drop on the floor, and meet new people. Sometimes people are afraid to talk to me because I still have a trach and use a wheelchair full time. A service dog will help me become more independent.
The training of a service dog costs 4 Paws for Ability between $40,000-$60,000. Our fee is $17,000, and this is the amount we are trying to raise.
If you would like to make a donation there are ways to do this. You can write a check and send it to the address below:
4 Paws For Ability
For: Toby Holt
253 Dayton Avenue
Xenia, OH 45385
Or make an online donation at: https://www.mightycause.com/story/Tobysfaithfulfriend
You can also call and make a secure credit card donation online by calling the 4 Paws For Ability office at 937-374-0385 Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST.
Thank you for considering my cause and feel free to spread the word!