Operation Needed For Child With Battens Disease

An East Texas family is fighting a battle against time to save a little boy's life. The Spencer family of Harrison county nervously watch time now. Four year old Joshua Spencer is showing the effects of Battens. It's a disease that steals motor skills and balance away from its' victims until they can't move at all. It's something that's difficult for his family to see happening.

"It's hard for me when he loses his muscles, whenever he gets better I just think the whole world will be praising God," his sister Shelby Spencer says.

"He's lost his ability to walk pretty much. He's gotten to where he falls quite frequently. He can only say a couple of words now," says his father Paul Spencer.

Joshua is in line for a clinical trial operation in New York, in which a gene he's missing will be inserted into his brain and hopefully reverse the disease. Joshua cannot afford to get sick, because even a common cold will disqualify him.

"It's a scary waiting game because if he looses any of his ability, begins to have seizures again he could be bumped out of the group," says mother Leann Spencer.

Another problem the family faces is that the trial needs a million dollars more funding. or it is discontinued.

"If they run out of money before it's Joshua's turn, they would stop the trial," says Leann.

For now they pray that Joshua has a miracle in store for him. If you'd like to help, you're asked to make donations to the "Hope for Joshua Fund" at Texas Bank and Trust in Longview.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com