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Groundbreaking surgery means new hope for Mustang teen’s future

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MUSTANG, Okla. - Christian Brown has been playing and excelling at baseball for years now, never missing a game.

"My dad introduced me to baseball and I fell in love with it," Christian said. "That's what we would always do, we'd go out in the yard and play catch for hours."

The game wasn't something his parents thought would be possible.

Christian was born with heart complications.

"There was no blood flow going through the pulmonary valve," Christian's dad, Kyle, said. "About four hours after he was born, he was Mediflighted to Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City.

That was the first of four open heart surgeries, the most recent and hopefully last just back in 2014.

But the surgery that now made his heart strong also led to Scoliosis, a rapid growth in his spine that the rest of his body couldn't keep up with.

"It's not like a sharp pain," said Christian, "It's like a burning, an underlying burning."

Pain Christian won't be able to ignore forever and requires surgery to repair.

Then the family learned from doctors that the typical surgery would mean more than a setback.

"They said very nonchalantly, 'if it gets a little bit worse, then we'll just put rods in his back," Kyle said.

Rods that would restrict his flexibility and bring a swift end to any aspirations for a future with baseball.

"Honestly, I just kind of felt sorry for my son," Kyle said. "But then I was reminded of God's grace and mercy."

Christian's parents were determined to find another solution and began a nationwide search. That's when they discovered New York surgical group, the Institute for Spine and Scoliosis.

The surgeons designed a new procedure that cuts out the need for mobility-limiting rods.

"They put some screws into the vertebrae and they put a flexible cord in there, and when they pull it tight, it straightens up the spine," Kyle explained.

Christian is preparing for his surgery scheduled for September 18 with a new hope for his future.

"My parents always taught me that if things knock you down, just get up," Christian said. "So I've never let anything keep me down."

The surgery has a $100,000 price tag, another obstacle this family is tackling with as many fundraisers as they can pull together. That includes the sale of t-shirts with "TRUST Proverbs 3:5-6" printed on the front. It's one with great significance to the Browns.

"5          Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6             in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight."