Miracle baby born with just 80% of his brain continues to thrive at 2 years old
Against all odds, Jaxon Buell is thriving and growing bigger, strengthening his family in the process.
Jaxon Buell was born with a condition called microhydranencephaly—meaning 80% of his brain was missing. His parents, Brandon and Brittany Buell, were told that he would not make it to his second birthday, but he turned 2 last August, and is still thriving.
Doctors also said that Jaxon would probably never hear, see, or talk. But today, he follows conversations and recognizes his name when he’s called. He loves looking at his parents’ faces. In October of 2015, he was already learning how to say “I love you”. He can also taste—Jaxon is dependent on a feeding tube, and with certain foods, he scrunches up his face and spits food out. With other foods more up his alley, he starts smiling.
“Every life should be celebrated, valued and cherished”
“Our family has gotten stronger,” Brandon writes in an update for Today. “There’s a miracle behind Jaxon’s story. We want to let other families know that even when there’s a dark situation, every life should be celebrated, valued and cherished. You never know. Jaxon is proving that.”
Outside of his daily seizures, Jaxon is a happy and healthy baby. “He smiles all the time with us,” Brandon adds.
“We try to do tummy time every single day to strengthen him. He doesn’t love it. He will always let us know if he’s loving a situation with smiles or squeals of delight. If he’s not happy with what we’re doing, like when we’re brushing his teeth, he’ll yell at us with a cute little frustrated voice.”
On the next page: how Jaxon is teaching his parents to treasure every moment.
Microhydranencephaly is a form of microcephaly, which has been linked to the Zika virus. “Everyone’s freaking out saying microcephaly is a death sentence, and it’s not,” Brandon told Redbook earlier this year. “Even if you had to go through it, your child can survive. Your child can live a good-quality life.”
“We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but he’s still here and we celebrate that.”
Jaxon has strengthened their family’s ties. Because Jaxon’s case is so rare, no one knows what Jaxon’s prognosis is, and doctors don’t know how to treat him. Brandon and Brittany have no idea what tomorrow has in store for their family, and so the couple focuses on making the most of each day and treasuring each moment.
“His life is precious,” Brandon continues. “We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but he’s still here and we celebrate that. Whatever Jaxon needs that day, we will do.”
Read more about Jaxon in his parents’ book Don’t Blink: What the Little Boy Nobody Expected to Live Is Teaching the World about Life.
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