Eau Claire (WQOW) - Abel Boettcher is part rock star, part sports star, and all smiles.
It hasn't always been that way though. Abel was born four weeks premature
"Initially he was in the NICU at Sacred Heart. He had some issues breathing, so they put him on some oxygen," said Abel's mother Rebecca Boettcher.
Following a CT scan, the doctors moved quickly.
"At that point, they told us "Your son had a brain hemorrhage, and we're going to airlift him to Marshfield," Rebecca said.
"He had a temporary drain where they had done a tap through the soft spot in his head. It was just a temporary tap to remove some of the fluid on his brain," said Shane Boettcher, Abel's father.
Doctors told the Boettchers that Abel may face life-long complications.
"The prognosis was basically we don't think that he's going to walk, or talk, or function normally."
"All of the employees were asked to support CMN by wearing jeans and paying 5 dollars to do so. We were able to meet Abel and his family, and I think when you meet the families that you're helping to support, that really puts it all together. Seeing the children that are able to take advantage of these funds that we're raising, it's a great cause," said Jan Walker, who worked with the Chippewa Valley Chapter of Credit Unions to raise money for Abel.
After three months, Abel was allowed to return home, and by age 2, was walking thanks to some help from the children's miracle network.
"They helped us with his braces for his ankles, and also with a basketball hoop. He is obsessed with basketball now, he loves to play with it, he plays it every day. That was something that just kind of encouraged him to want to stand and walk and work on the different therapy things," Rebecca said.
Now three years old, Abel is outgoing and ready to keep playing.
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