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Family of Carthage teen with brain disorder seeks support

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WATERTOWN — Carthage High School senior Benjamin Crump is once again hospitalized and has lost the use of his left leg.

Mr. Crump originally was sent to Golisano Children’s Hospital at Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, just before Thanksgiving last year. He was diagnosed with a chiari malformation, which involves brain tissue extending into the spinal cord and impairs balance. He has also been diagnosed with syringomyelia and basilar invagination, both affecting his spinal cord and brain.

The 17-year-old was expected to undergo two high-risk surgeries.

Following one procedure to remove brain masses, he was expected to undergo another intervention to treat his chiari malformation in May or June. But given recent developments, the surgery has been pushed off.

“Ben has lost use of his left leg and is now forced to use a walker, and his condition seems to worsen every day,” said his older brother Joshua Crump.

Ben Crump spent three weeks in Syracuse before transferring to Samaritan Medical Center where he’s been for the past two weeks. Unsure what is causing his worsening symptoms, doctors may refer him to another facility.

“They have discussed several options, but nothing concrete,” Joshua Crump said. “Possibly Cleveland, Boston, (New York City) or Philadelphia. He tries to keep his spirit up, but this is destroying him and at times he feels defeated.”

Benjamin’s mother, Laurie Crump, spends her free time with him, and Joshua Crump said it is wearing on her. “She’s at a loss and terrified,” he said.

The medical costs are mounting and will only worsen. To offset costs and organize another fundraiser, Joshua Crump has set up a GoFundMe.com account under Medical Bills for Ongoing 17 year old. As of May 19, $250 had been raised, including a $200 anonymous donation. The family’s goal is to raise $5,000.

We “hoped that this would open up to different areas,” Joshua Crump said. “We have set up a GoFundMe site in hopes of helping to defray the costs that are building daily and the costs of travel associated with the referral.”

The struggle is wearing on Ben Crump, according to family friend Melissa Brandal. If anyone would like to send him cards, they can direct them to Samaritan Medical Center Floor 3 Rehab room 3135, 830 Washington St., Watertown, N.Y. 13601.

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