Trevor Judge Waltrip was born on Christmas Eve in 2001 without a brain. He had a rare condition called hydranencephaly; only his brain stem was present. Where the brain would have been, Trevor Waltrip had only sacs filled with cerebrospinal fluid. His doctors said that they would be surprised if he lived 12 weeks, but Trevor turned those weeks into years.
According to WNEM, Trevor Waltrip’s physician Larry Daniels was shocked when Trevor survived passed 12 days, 12 weeks, and even 12 months. At 17 months, Dr. Daniels said that babies born with Trevor’s condition are generally stillborn. Trevor’s brain stem allowed him to breathe, allowed his heart to beat and allowed him to respond to some stimuli.
In 2003, Trevor’s mother Elizabeth Waltrip reportedly told KSLA News, “He’s so alert and hates to be alone. He’ll sense that, too.” Two years later, Waltrip said that with 15 teeth, Trevor remarkably was able to bite. Trevor was given therapists who helped work his muscles and joints, never giving up on the child. Trevor was born without a brain, but with a remarkable basic will to live.
Elizabeth reportedly got through each day without dwelling too much on the future. When Trevor was about four, Waltrip said of her Christmas Eve baby, “I look at it like he’s here for a reason, and I thank God every day for it.”
His family is requesting the public’s help to cover Trevor’s funeral expenses. Some people on social media have judged Trevor Waltrip’s family for making such a request, but one defender stood out among the social media commentators. On Facebook, Holly Fielder Bowers wrote:
“My daughter had this disability and lived to be 14. For those of you who have never lived it, don’t judge. My daughter, despite having only her brainstem had quite the personality and such a beautiful quality of life. Also, life insurance for a person who is disabled like this is almost non existent, and medical bills pileup quickly. I will pray for this family.”
Other parents of children born with only a brain stem have posted stories and photos of their children clearly interacting at a very basic, human level.
Trevor’s 12 years on this earth have brought more awareness to the rare condition. Resources are available for families of children with the same condition as Trevor. The Global Hydranencephaly Foundation has more images and stories to provide families with hope and resources as well. Inquisitr recently reported about another inspirational person with a survivor spirit who brought awareness and hope to a different rare condition: Mesothelioma.
Donations to Trevor’s family can be made at any Chase Bank under the “Trevor Judge Waltrip Donation Account.”
[Photo sources: Nicholas Ainsworth and YouTube]