Powell family waiting with Nathan

Published 4:52 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2008

For weeks Nathan Powell’s parents have been switching out watch duty in his hospital room.

The 6-year-old Nederland boy has a form of autism and just had a heart operation. His 3-year-old brother Tony, who has standard autism, is allowed visits in Nathan’s Texas Children’s Hospital room in Houston.

“Nathan’s operation this past Friday was a success. There were no complications. They were able to implant the ICB,” a defibulator/pace maker, Michael Powell, Nathan’s father, said.

“It’s a state-of-the-art device on the market for less than a year. We’ve been told the industry has seen miraculous results in a short amount of time. Doctors are confident it will help Nathan,” Powell said. He and his wife Margaret, Nathan’s mother, have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Houston as medical teams treat their son’s congestive heart failure and dilated cardiomyopothy. Nathan also has Asberger’s, described as a highly-functioning spectrum of autism.

A benefit link sale, with prizes, for Nathan’s medical expenses will be at Bruce’s Market Basket, 6001 39th St., Groves on Saturday, July 12. Times have not been announced.

An account for donations is set up at DuPont Goodrich Credit Union. The number is 700639700. For information, call 727-2351 for information.

Powell is the produce manager at Mercado de Familia on College Street in Beaumont. It is the only Hispanic-themed store in the Market Basket family, Powell said, and added that his work family has been supportive.

“Very much. They’ve bent over backwards to make sure I never missed a pay check. I’m very fortunate. It takes a lot off our minds to focus more of our mental energy on our children and not worry as much about money to pay the bills,” Powell said.

He told another anecdote of support.

“When we got to Houston, our vehicle overheated. We found und out we were facing $800 in repairs,” he said.

People pitched in for the repairs.

Nathan is currently hooked up to tubes in his hospital bed, but his father said he has several stuffed toys and Transformer figures. Given his autism, he has his own way of communicating, but has an aversion to talking to relatives on the phone, Powell said.

Contact this reporter at ddoiron@panews.com.

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