The real-life Iron Man: Edgefield boy takes on the world with Scoliosis and a smile

By  | 

Friday, Sept. 20, 2019
News 12 This Morning

Ethan Sherman doesn't let his Scoliosis hold him back from being a normal little boy. (Source: WRDW)

EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- He may be small but he is mighty. A little boy named Ethan, in Edgefield, is proving he is the real Iron Man.

His smile is contagious, but even behind a grin this big there's a story. Ethan's mom, Brandi Sherman, tells us the story of her little man.

"Literally one morning he woke up and he had a huge curve, one shoulder was higher than the other, one hip was higher than the other. He was fine the night before he went to bed," Brandi said.

Brandi says doctors first thought it was just a growth spurt until things worsened. Ethan was soon diagnosed with Scoliosis at just two years old.

"He started casting when he was two years old until he was five. A full-blown out torso cast just like if you break your arm."

From plaster cast to a brace, it's been apart of Ethan since he was five.

"It's red white and blue," Ethan showed off his brace to us. "It's an American flag one because we live in America."

Ethan makes it look easy, but dad Levi says wearing a brace isn't all fun and games.

"It builds up so much heat when you're playing around in the summer. During the winter he probably gets used to it, but he gets restricted on activities and stuff like that," Levi Sherman told us.

In October, Ethan will turn eight, and will soon get his Scoliosis surgery.

"They are going to have to place the growing rods in his back. Every time he hits a growth spurt he has to go right back in they have to put him back to sleep and do the surgery all over again to stretch the growing rods to keep him from going back," Brandi said.

These new additions have Ethan's mom calling him the real-life Iron Man, from the Avengers!

"When he does have his surgery and have the iron in his back for the growth rods, he's the true Iron Man. Iron Man's not real but, he's the true Iron Man."

Ethan, however, has a different take on why he's a superhero.

"Because if someone punches me, their fist will curl!"

To raise awareness for Scoliosis, Ethan's family have created "Ethan Strong" shirts. They are on pre-order now and all proceeds will go back to Shriner's Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina, where Ethan will have his surgery.

Copyright 2019 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.