Brandon, age 16, with his mother

My name is Natalie and I wanted to share my son Brandon's story to give others hope.
 
When I was pregnant with Brandon I was 19 years old. Throughout my pregnancy everything seemed fine up until the 6th month. The doctor would always ask if everything was ok and check the heart beat and ask if I felt a lot of movement. I told the doctor I felt fine and I did not really feel Brandon move much. So they did an ultrasound. They said he was a little small and decided to do a stress test to see if he was under stress. They said the test was abnormal and could not figure out why so they continued to monitor me through out the pregnancy.
 
The day that was supposed to be a happy day had become a very sad day. While laying in the hospital bed( in labor) Brandon's dad and the doctor were in the room with me. The doctor had told me to lay there and rest and they would be back to check on me. The doctor dimmed the lights and walked out. Brandon's dad laid on a chair next to my bed while waiting he fell asleep. I laid there and closed my eyes and suddenly I felt someone holding my hand. I figured it was Brandon's dad so I still laid with my eyes closed and then it dawned on me that the person holding my hand had rough hands and Brandon's dad had very smooth hands. I immediately opened my eyes and there was no one there and Brandon's dads back was to me and he was asleep. To this day I know it was god holding my hand trying to tell me everything will be ok.
 
Finally Brandon was born. He had a cleft lip and palate and the doctors had to take him right away for testing. They came back the next day and told us that Brandon had T-18 chromosome disorder and would not live long. One of the questions they asked us was being Brandon's situation and the way he looks would either of you be uncomfortable ( or embarrassed ) bringing him out in public? I said absolutely not and his father answered yes I would be embarrassed. Very shortly after that Brandon's father left me to care for him on my own and has not been around since. A few days later a team of doctors and social workers scheduled a meeting with me. When I attended they tried to get me to give Brandon to foster care. I said no way my son is staying with me. One of the social workers laughed at me and said and what do you intend to do with him? I walked out in tears. All I have to say is I wish they could see us now.
 
Since then Brandon has had to have many reconstructive surgerys on his ears because the canals were to small.His cleft lip and palate has been repaired and he has also had surgery on his ankle because the tenant was so stiff and needed help relaxing so he could try and walk.Brandon also had to take growth hormone shots for 4 years ( that I had to give him everyday ) because he was so small.He also has hypothyroidism but is on the lowest dose of medicine you can take for it. He also wears hearing aids to help him hear. The doctors told me he was not going to crawl, walk or talk. Today Brandon is 16 years old and is in High School. He crawled,he walked and he also talks. My son is the strongest person I know. He has been through so much but he is still here and he is doing well. DO NOT listen to what the doctors say. There is hope. My son is living proof. If anyone would like to see or meet Brandon I am open to that anytime. If anyone has any q uestion please contact me anytime at natalie_evans@comcast.net. God bless you all.

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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.