Reggie Wood recovers in BC Children’s Hospital shortly after his operation for Perthes disease. The Wood family has designed t-shirts to raise money for Reggie’s Fun Fund, as he’ll have to use a wheelchair and crutches for 12 to 18 months during his recovery and won’t be able to play like he’s used to. Photo submitted

Rocket Man Reg comes home from surgery

Reggie Wood has finished his surgery at BC Children’s Hospital, where he underwent a procedure for Perthes disease, a condition he was diagnosed with shortly after his eighth birthday in April.

After his mother, North Thompson Valley florist Deanna Wood, sent a message to clients saying she was shutting down her business for the foreseeable future to focus on taking care of Reggie, Clearwater and area showed an outpouring of support and raised more than $6,000 to help with his medical costs.

“I want to say how grateful I am to the community for the money they raised. It’s taken a load of stress off. Before the money was raised there were days I’d get up and think, how am I going to do this?” said Wood.

“It gave me a lot of strength and I’ll never forget what the town of Clearwater and area did.”

Reggie’s surgery took place on July 9 and Wood said in a Facebook post that there’s a lot more work and pain than expected, though the pain seemed to be under control and Reggie was handling it like a trooper.

Wood also noted it’s been an emotional ride for the family and the surgeon told them before the operation that Reggie won’t be able to run or jump for 12 to 18 months and will have to use a wheelchair and crutches during the recovery time.

“We hope, fingers crossed, the surgery does its job,” she said.

“(My husband) Luke and I haven’t had much sleep as you can imagine, hospitals aren’t the comfiest, especially when your child is in so much distress. As much as I tried to gently explain … he had no idea what he was in for.”

A fund is also being created for Reggie so his family can find fun things for him to do while he waits to get his mobility back. Wood, her cousin Bonny who’s a tattoo artist, and Reggie designed shirts to help raise money for the Fun Fund.

Last year Reggie took his first run down the slope at the Clearwater Ski Hill and earned himself the nickname “Rocket” and then after hearing Elton John’s Rocket Man on the way home from the hill, he took on the moniker “Rocket Man Reg.”

The design on the t-shirts being sold for his Fun Fund says “Rocket Man Reg” with various other elements personal to Reggie and his family.

“It’s got the Trophy Mountains in the background, which we told Reggie we’re going to hike with him when he turns 10-years-old, and it’s got water in there because he loved fishing and a rocket because he loves Rocket Man (by Elton John),” said Wood.

“(It’s also got a) sunflower, which represents my mom because my mom passed away and that was her favourite flower, and lilac and Indian paintbrushes because those are Reggie’s favourite flowers. We’re going to sell the shirts and any money we make is going to go toward some fun stuff for Reggie to do.”

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