You may remember Jaxon Buell, who was born with a brain malformation called microhydranencephaly, which means 80 percent of his brain missing. As Jaxon's dad Brandon Buell told Today.com, "Microhydranencephaly is a more complicated version of microcephaly, the birth defect linked to the Zika virus."
Buell updated Today.com about his son, explaining, unthinkably, "The doctors believe his brain just stopped forming a few weeks into the pregnancy." He added, "The doctors originally told us he'd probably never hear, see, talk because the components of the brain that make those things happen are not there. He's doing those things against the odds."
Buell also shared about Jaxon at age 2, "When people are talking to him, he's following conversations with his head turns. He recognizes his name — if we say Jaxon, he starts to smile. He's getting better with his hands. If we play noses, he'll reach his hand up to grab our faces. Those seem like very, very small things for a typically developing child, but for him, those are milestones."
The Buells clearly do their best to enjoy each and every day with their beloved little boy. A recent post on the Jaxon Strong Facebook page reads, "I stand here watching my son sleep peacefully and just pray to the good Lord above that we have many, many years filled with his sweet smile and joyful presence. #JaxonStrong."
Unfortunately, no one knows what Jaxon's prognosis is because his situation is so rare, and doctors aren't sure how to help him. Buell told Today.com, "No one knows what tomorrow will bring for him. We were told that he would not make it to 2 years old and he passed it." The loving father also shared that Jaxon suffers seizures, is on constantly-adjusting doses of medication, and sometimes ends up in the hospital.
Despite Jaxon's many challenges, including that he has to be fed through a feeding tube, Buell says, "We celebrate Jaxon's life every single day. We try to make it special for him. Whether reading a book in his room or cuddling on the couch together, it's the littlest thing, but for him, it's the world."
And at the end of the day, the Buells are sharing Jaxon's story because, as his dad told Today.com, "Even when there's a dark situation, every life should be celebrated, valued, and cherished."
Wow. Officially deeply touched and incredibly inspired. Here's wishing Jaxon a very happy second birthday, and many, many more.
You can read more about Jaxon in his parents' new book, Don't Blink: What the Little Boy Nobody Expected to Live Is Teaching the World about Life.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her onFacebookwhere she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.