Isaiah Hazard started kindergarten at Frenchtown the end of August just like many other 5 year olds. By the end of that first day, he had what looked like cold symptoms. It got worse. By Friday, he spent part of his day with the school nurse. Then, on Saturday, he couldn’t move.

They rushed Isaiah to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, causing muscles to become weak, causing it to be compared to polio. While it is not a new condition, it has been on the increase since 2014. Most cases of AFM occur in children.

It was a shocking diagnosis for Isaiah’s family.

“It came on so fast. We didn’t expect any of this,” said Trevor Hazard, Isaiah’s dad.

At Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Isaiah was given a trach because he became too weak to breath. He was in the intensive care unit there until last week, when he was moved to Franciscan Children’s in Brighton, Mass., for rehabilitation and he is slowly improving.

Isaiah Hazard is still smiling, despite everything.

“Isaiah is moving a little bit more each day and they are working on getting him off the vent each day but it’s still a very long process,” wrote Trevor Hazard. “He is still smiling each day and the last couple of days they have been taking him off the vent for 10 minutes at a time and letting him breath on his own.”

The enormity of Isaiah’s illness has prompted an outpouring of support, including from Town Councilman Andy Deutsch, a longtime family friend. When he heard about Isaiah, he felt he needed to do something. Together with Trevor’s brother Cody, Deutsch has organized a fundraiser at Finn’s Harborside for Thursday, Nov. 15, at 6 p.m.

The cost is $25 a ticket, with a cash bar. Finn’s is donating much of the food. Music will be Kevin Herchen

For Isaiah’s parents, Trevor and Erika Thompson, they know that the road ahead will be long, but all the support has meant a lot.

“It’s going to be nice to see the community at the fundraiser,” said Trevor.

You can buy tickets at the door or contact Andy Deutsch at (401) 559-4120. For more information, check out the Facebook page here. You can also donate on Venmo here, or mail a check to Team Isaiah, 5600 Post Rd., Suite 114 PMB 108,
E.G., RI 02818.