BOONVILLE - In all facets of the word, Christian Hurt is a living miracle.
When Christian was born, he was missing the back half of his C1 vertebrae. That small, seemingly insignificant birth defect would literally save his life 18 years later.
“A lot of people don’t know that I have a birth defect, and that is the main reason why I’m walking and everything today,” Christian explained. “I was actually only born with half of my C1 vertebrae, and that’s the bone I broke. I was born without the back of it, and the doctors said that the part I was missing would have actually been the part that sliced through my nerves and arteries.
“It’s pretty crazy. If it wasn’t for this birth defect, I would dead or paralyzed,” he added.
His mother, Melody, simply calls it a miracle.
“Dealing with all this, putting it on Facebook and telling the story to some people, it has opened a lot of people’s eyes who didn’t believe in miracles - because this is truly a miracle,” she explained. “There is just so much God in it everywhere. And I really think this is going to help a lot of people who have God on the back-burner from time to time, and they’ll say ‘wow, this is God.’”
“God is not ready for him yet, that’s why he lived after November 4th,” she added.
Christian says he’s not “lucky” to be alive, but instead, “blessed.”
The Starmount senior now believes that God spared his life for a greater purpose - to motivate those who are struggling with challenging situations in their own lives.
“God obviously has a plan for me, but I don’t know what it is yet,” he said. “I’ll definitely be a motivational speaker and tell my story. I’ve been through it all, so I know what it feels like, so I’ll be able to talk about it. I haven’t done any yet, but right now I’m working on going to talk to some Stokes County schools, so trying to get that lined up.”
Melody believes her son’s story can be inspiring.
“I think it’s going to be that we are supposed to help other people in different situations,” she explained. “Christian can inspire a lot of people who might give up in their situation because he hasn’t given up, even though he has good days and bad days. This is a senior in high school who hasn’t been back to school. Very popular with a lot of friends, missed basketball season, and that was one of his favorite sports - it is really inspiring to a lot of people.”
But before Christian can embark on this next chapter of his life, he needs the help of the community.
The senior is preparing for a dangerous and rare neck surgery in Germany over the next few weeks. The procedure, called a vertebrae replacement surgery, has been performed less than 25 times worldwide, but would allow Christian full mobility in his neck.
The surgery is not yet approved in the United States, forcing the Hurts to travel abroad, and they need help raising money for the expensive procedure.
“The only surgery that can be done in the United States is the fusion, and I definitely don’t want that,” Christian explained. “It would only give me back 50 percent neck mobility, and I will never be able to play any contact sports ever, not even a game of pick-up basketball. That’s not what I want to do at all, so that’s why I really want this other surgery to work out - it would give me full mobility, if it all works out, God-willing.
“Anything helps; any little bit helps because all of it is going to add up in the end,” he said. “I need it. And one day I’m going to use my testimony to help somebody else.”
Melody calls it a “cry for help.”
“Oh yes, it’s a cry for help. There isn’t any shame in my game, and I’m not too proud to beg. Please helps us,” she said. “I think any child or any human being deserves to get the best treatment possible to have a second chance at what they like doing best - living a free and normal life as much as possible. This is our only chance, and we need your help. God will bless you back, ten fold - that is in the Bible.”
She says even learning about the replacement surgery was a work of God.
“I have a friend who’s sister’s son had to have surgery in Spain, and she led me into the right direction for this surgery,” she explained. “We were trying to get away from the fusion surgery, otherwise my son would not have a full recovery, and she led me in the right direction.
“It was strange; I went on a website one night and Dr. Karsten Ritter-Lang’s name popped up and he was ranked as the number one neurosurgeon in the world,” Melody added. “Carol Landry Fiske, Susan Weatherman and Kathy McKracken - they were a God-send.”
Multiple benefits have been established throughout the area to help raise money for Christian. Yadkin Valley Bank in downtown Elkin has set up a medical needs fund, where donors can mail-in or drop-off donations. Wells Fargo has set up a similar account online where donations can be sent, just mention the Christian Hurt Medical Needs Fund.
Melody says there is no concrete number the family needs to raise, but she set a goal for $100,000 to cover it all.
“We’ve seen $30,000 for this standard procedure, but we don’t think he’s going to be too standard, so I’ve heard closer to $60,000, but we have to wait to hear the bottom line,” she said. “We’re going to try and reach a $100,000 goal so we can just cover it all.
“The thing about it is, we can’t wait until the last minute, because when we do get that call, it’s going to be time for us to pack our bags and leave - I’m already going to have our bags packed. We have to be prepared,” she added.
Christian says with the help of the community, they can raise the money needed.
“I think God has given me another chance with this opportunity, because it shot up out of nowhere,” he explained. “I was expecting to have this fusion surgery done and God finally brought something to my attention; my prayers finally paid off. With the help of the community, we can actually get this thing done. I want the best for my own future, so one day I can tell my story and help and inspire other people.”
Melody and the Hurts “thank everyone in advance for your help, love and support.”
“Me, my son and our family, really appreciate everything everyone has done or is trying to do for us, and we love you,” she said. “We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us - Philippians 4:13.”
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.