A’burg rallies around local youth

By Joel Charron


That’s the word Scott and Josette Riddell used to describe their feelings as they watched over 600 people pack the Verdi Club in support of their 10-year-old son Alex.

“This is pretty crazy, especially when we have been dealing with all kinds of bad things to have something like this, it’s just amazing,” said Scott.

On Wed. May 25, a pasta dinner fundraiser was held for the 10-year-old to raise money to help pay the escalating medical bills.

Alex suffers from Cavernous Malformation, a bleed inside a vessel that swells and puts pressure on the brain, which cause stroke like symptoms.

According to Scott, Alex suffered a bleed on April 2.

Josette Riddell helps her 10-year-old son Alex grab a plate of pasta while husband Scott and 13-year-old son Zach flash a smile. Over 600 people attended the fundraising dinner for Alex Riddell at the Verdi Club.

After dropping Alex off at his grandmother’s house, Alex said he was tired and went to bed at an early time.  When he woke up the following morning it looked as if the 10-year-old had suffered a stroke.

“The right side of his face was drooping, he couldn’t stand up, he couldn’t find his hands or mouth,” said Scott.

Since April 2, Alex has been put through the ringer with doctor appointments and physiotherapy five days a week. Although Alex has come a long way from his April 2 attack, he has to learn how to use the right side of his body again. As of now, Alex is unable to write and doesn’t have his coordination. Scott said Alex is able to pick things up, however has difficulty releasing objects.

Scott said they have transformed the second level of their home into a rehabilitation room so Alex can work on his exercises on the weekends

“He’s doing a lot better than what we though he was going to be doing but doctors still don’t know where he is going to be,” said Scott.

Although, Alex’s future is still questionable, according to Scott, it hasn’t affected his mood.

“It’s been horrible and incredible to see how he’s putting through all this,” said Scott. “He never complains about anything, he’s never fussed about anything. If he can’t do something with his right hand, he just does it with his left.”

Scott said because Alex is only 10-years-old he has a better chance of making a full recovery.

“His chances are better because he’s young. Things would be different if it were you or I in that position,” he said.

Cavernous Malformation is hereditary, along with Alex being diagnosed; Scott and Josette recently found out that their 13-year-old son Zach, was diagnosed as well. However, Zach has not experienced any symptoms.

During the pasta dinner, Alex was seen laughing and smiling with his friends.

Alex said he was very happy that everyone showed up to support him.

“It makes me feel good,” he said.

Alex mentioned after dinner he was looking forward to eating a few cupcakes, which were specially made for him.

Vanessa and Nathan Harris organized the Pasta dinner in conjunction with the Amherstburg Police.

The Verdi Club banquet hall was packed as people bought raffle tickets, 50/50 tickets and checked out the cornucopia of items donated to the cause.

“We are incredibly grateful and touched over everyone’s kindness and generosity,” said Josette. “It really shows you how much the community gets together and help out people.”

The amount raised from the pasta dinner was unavailable at press time.

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