LOUISVILLE, Ky — A Louisville family is trying to raise enough money to purchase cutting edge technology to help their two-year-old boy.

What You Need To Know

  • There's a fundraiser for Trexo Home, a robotic assisted walking device for Kade Franics

  • The Go Fund Me page has nearly $5,000 raised.

  • Kade Francis attends therapies 5 to 6 times week

Kade Francis spends anywhere from 5 to 6 times a week at physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or visually impaired preschool. 

Two times a week for about 35-45-minute sessions, Kade starts his day with Bellarmine University physical therapists where he walks nearly two thousand steps in the Trexo, a robotic assisted walking device that helps children with a wide range of conditions and needs.

2 year old, Kade Francis in the Trexo at a physical therapy session at Bellarmine University. (Spectrum News 1/Erin Wilson)

“At first he only paid attention to Mickey Mouse, but now we’ve noticed he’s looking around the room like he knows he’s going somewhere,” Kade’s mom, Chelsey Coulter said.

It’s something doctors never imagined was possible. Kade was born on Jan. 12, 2020 with multiple medical complications. The list includes: white matter loss in the brain which causes developmental delays (affecting coordination, motor movements, speech, etc.) high tone and spasticity, VACTERL association, clubbed left hand, partial clubbed right hand, no left kidney, 12-degree curvature of the spine and fused vertebrae in the neck, vocal cord paralysis, heart conditions, severe Tracheomalacia, bronchomalacia of the left lung, tethered spinal cord, high bladder pressures, G tube dependent, malformed facies, high blood pressure and eye conditions.

“It was one of those things. We just weren’t prepared,” Kade’s dad, Roy Francis, said. “When he came out, nobody had any idea what was going on. It was a complete surprise to our doctors and, of course, us.”

Even with the odds stacked against him, Kade continues to show improvements, and that’s thanks to Trexo. Most recently, Kade started at 14% initiation and is now up to 35%, meaning every step Kade takes in the Trexo he initiates 35%.

“So now he is only showing improvement in this, we are taking him home and we are doing free with assistance walking him ourselves and I’ve seen more repetitive steps from him, also the head and trunk control has gotten a lot better,” Coulter said.

Kade’s parents are hoping to add a Trexo to their home. Therapists say it’s essential Kade takes a minimum of 100 steps a day to train the brain.

The family started a Go Fund Me Page to raise money for some necessities Kade will need for the rest of his life, including the Trexo Home, a wheelchair, private nurse, and P-pod chair, an alternative seating device for the home.

“I’m about 5’11 and dad’s about 6’3 so Kade’s probably going to be a tall boy and I know that we will be needing to take care of him lifelong but just trying to get him to his best self and also to be able to have him help will be the world of difference,” Coulter said.

They are working towards achieving the goal of Kade walking on his own.

“We’re hoping he’ll be able to fully walk on his own. That’s the ultimate goal. We’re not going to give up on that. We’re going to work at it every day, work at it every day, a little bit at a time,” Francis said.

Until that day comes, the family continues to take it one step at a time. Kade’s mom, Chelsey Coulter continues to post updates on Kade’s progress on her Facebook page.