Brian is a self-described 'warriors-father'. His young son Ezra was born with a condition called O.E.I.S. / cloacal exstrophy - the rarest survivable birth defect with a 1 in 400 000 chance of it occurring. Ezra has been to over 200 specialist appointments in his short 17 month's in this world.
Brian's post in Blokes Advice started, Hey fellas. Names Brian. Proud father to the strongest kid I know. Recently I made a post in another dad group and a friend messaged me and said you solid fucking blokes would love to take part in what I am trying to do for my son.
His friend isn't wrong. The members of Blokes Advice love to shit talk, but when it comes to helping out a child and a fellow dad, they rally together in a show of community rare in this world of social media.
Brian went on to explain that his son is obsessed with coloured drawings. He draws, and constantly hands them out to his doctors and nurses. With his son going in for a 20 hour surgery on Christmas Day he appealed to the members of BA to get their kids to draw him pictures or notes which he could give to his son in the lead up to keep him smiling every day, with the view to cover the walls of his hospital room.
And boy, did Blokes Advice deliver with thousands of responses. Brian got over 3000 inboxes within hours and Facebook literally put a limit on his messaging function.
The comments section was flooded with guys who had asked their kids if they wanted to help, and even the kids were ecstatic to be involved. A stand out was a drawing of Ezra as Superman.
O.E.I.S. / cloacal exstrophy is a rough hand to be dealt. Ezra was born with his bladder and intestines on the outside of his body, missing his male bits, a kidney & right leg. He also has spinabifida. This surgery he faces on Christmas Day is called a pelvic osteomy where they will cut Exra's pelvis in four places and close it over the course of a few months in the hospital. Once it's closed enough, they will then put his organs back in his stomach.
Brian is a testimony of a strong father. He sold most of his possessions, closed down his lucrative professional firework display company & done everything he can to give his family the best chance at normally against such stacked odds.
He says, "Covering the walls of the hospital room with love and support from other families around the world is my way to be there for my son while I'm out working to ensure my family is taken care of."
We think this story isn't complete without giving praise to Brian's partner, Maria. While Brian has stepped up and taken on the responsibility of supporting his family, she's also on the front line providing the incredibly intense level of care Ezra's requires. The little bloke needs his organs manually irrigated every 3 hours 24/7.
If you want to get in touch with Brian or send him some drawings, you can reach him at email@example.com
Blokes Advice is a private Facebook group with almost 300 000 members. It is 100% male (sorry ladies), and a place where blokes can go to daily for advice, to have a laugh, and celebrate bloke culture. Join the group HERE
All images & details were posted with the blessing of Brian Hollenback - a warriors father.