2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Butler, Hyde-Smith, Albritton, Carmichael, Clarke, Dearing, Frazier, Harden, Horhn, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Little, Simmons, Thomas, Walls, White

Senate Resolution 34

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, "Be Gentle With the Baby" is the statement that was made a million times by the Henderson family when their son, Alan Travette (Tra) Henderson, was born with a life-threatening bone disease.  Tra was born on June 29, 1998, at Kings Daughters Hospital in Brookhaven, Mississippi.  At birth he suffered two broken femur bones in two different places and a broken foot.  He was immediately transferred to the University Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi, and suffered a broken arm upon arrival.  At the time, his life expectancy was from six weeks to two years; and

     WHEREAS, the late Dr. Ronald Kending and other Orthopedic Specialists diagnosed Tra with Osteogenesis Imperfecta disease (fragile bones that break easily).  Dr. Kending suggested physical therapy at 12 months of age; at this point, Tra had broken over six femur bones and both arms.  When Tra was two years old, he was recommended to the Shriners Hospital in Tampa, Florida, for experimental drug treatment.  After two years he was transferred to Shreveport, Louisiana, for therapy to strengthen his bones; and

     WHEREAS, Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a very rare bone disease diagnosed in the State of Mississippi.  There is one out of 30,000 born in the State of Mississippi according to the rare bone disease reports.  This is a generic defect in children that occurs 2% to 7% worldwide.  It is classified into four types:  Type I (mild breaks); Type II (the most severe complications characterized by breaking bones with no apparent cause); Type III and Type IV (severe breaks); and

     WHEREAS, Tra had suffered almost 20 breaks by the time he was four years old.  Surgery was performed by inserting iron rods in both femurs and his left tibia to hold the bones together so that his bones will not continue to break.  By the age of five, Tra was able to stand with braces and a walker and make steps; and

     WHEREAS, Tra is now seven years old and has suffered over 40 broken bones and has been hospitalized in three different states.  He is now a patient at the Blair E. Baston Hospital for Children where he is treated every three months for his soft bones; and

     WHEREAS, due to his illness, Tra was granted a wish trip through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi in July 2005.  Tra and his family enjoyed a seven-day trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, which gave him a respite from hospitals and doctors for a while.  He was also crowned Prince of the Wishmakers' Ball held on February 26, 2006, at the Jackson Country Club; and

     WHEREAS, he now attends school in his personalized wheelchair at Martin Elementary School, Brookhaven, Mississippi.  He demonstrates a sunny, delightful attitude regardless of his health.  He is a high-spirited and happy child at all times.  Tra is an inspiration to his family and friends; and

     WHEREAS, thanks to the love and support from friends and family (parents, Willie and Victoria Henderson; and grandparents, Mrs. Alean Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Willie Henderson), Tra is on the road to great success; and

     WHEREAS, Tra is an inspiration to the State of Mississippi:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT  RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do commend and express support for Alan Travette (Tra) Henderson of Brookhaven, Mississippi, for his courageous fight against Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and extend the best wishes of the Senate to this young Mississippian, who is an inspiration to us all.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Tra and his family, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.