When most toddlers were learning to walk and play nicely on the playground, one little boy in North Carolina was learning to play the violin. His natural talent was soon apparent, but now as a 7 year old, health problems may derail a promising child prodigy.
It was clear that 7-year-old Caesar Sant was been gifted in music and math from an early age.
“At four years old, he already knew multiplication,” said Lucas Santos, caesar’s father.
Caesar’s path to success was once steady and strong. now — Caesar has trouble navigating the tiniest obstacles. he suffers from major complications of sickle cell disease. “His last stroke was very severe,” said Dr. Daniel Mcmahon of Carolinas Healthcare System.
Caesar has had three strokes — all related to sickle cell. He must undergo blood transfusions every three weeks to help prevent a fourth stroke.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder. Both Caesar and his little sister have it, though hers has been less severe.
Red blood cells in people with sickle cell disease are shaped like a crescent moon, and become sticky and stiff, clogging blood vessels.
The disease can be extremely painful, and cause organ damage and, as in Caesar’s case, strokes.
“What we ultimately would like to do is do a stem cell transplant, which is a curative form of treatment for sickle cell disease,” said Dr. Mcmahon. The procedure — which takes stem cells from the bone marrow of a donor — is complex and risky, but a potential cure.
The strokes have left Caesar struggling sometimes to find the right note, but he still plays beautifully thanks to months of rehabilitation. His father credits the violin for saving Caesar’s life.
“The more you exercise your fingers, the more you strengthen the brain connection,” said Lucas.
His family hopes the combination of music and medicine will lead to Caesar’s best performance yet.
Caesar hopes to get a bone marrow transplant in 2016.
You can help Caesar via crowdfunding at GoFundme and Crowdsterapp