News 6 - July 8, 2024 6:07 am


A 4-month-old baby at St. Francis Children’s Hospital will receive groundbreaking new treatment for a rare disorder, thanks to a public cry for help.

Nationwide Hospital in Ohio is donating the gene therapy treatment to Asher Cantrell for free, even though he didn’t qualify for its clinical trial.

Trent and Madison Cantrell are finally feeling something they haven’t felt in months—hope.

“We still have hope that maybe one day he can overcome the ventilator, one day he can walk, one day he can, and that’s all a reality now,” said Trent.

News On 6 first talked to the Cantrells about their story in June.

Related: ‘Please Help Our Son’: Oklahoma Family’s 4-Month-Old Diagnosed With Rare Disease

Their 4-month-old son Asher has an extremely rare disorder called SMARD 1. The Cantrells were desperate after Asher was denied by the only treatment option.

The last two months have been Madison’s worst nightmare.

4-Month-Old Child To Receive Gene Therapy Treatment For Rare Disorder

“I would even pass this hospital, and I would say, you know, oh my god, that’d be awful. To have a child in there, you know, and then hearing, I’m like, living here almost two months. So, just like a totally new perspective on life,” she said.

After the original story aired, there has been an outpouring of support.

Social media campaigns and doctors at St. Francis working round the clock, all sharing the family’s story—fighting for Asher to get the potentially life-saving treatment.

“They’re injecting the gene, the correct gene, that hopefully his body responds, it’s a lot of like, you know, keeping a close eye on him for a couple of days or weeks,” said Madison.

The treatment is still in the early days of testing, but it is the only chance for Asher.

“When we first talked about our diagnosis, you’re kind of like, oh, you just sit and watch as your son dies,” Trent said.

Now, the possibility of Asher getting better has the Cantrells more grateful than ever.

“They’re giving this to us for free,” Madison said. “Like here you go, you know, so nationwide. Thank you, my gosh.”

The family could get to go home from the hospital as early as the end of July if all things go according to plan.


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