Jessica Pierce and her husband, Clinton – a U.S. Marine stationed in Havelock, North Carolina – got some devastating news during her 20-week ultrasound with their forth child, who they had planned to name Lennox. The baby had rare genetic disorders, and doctors only gave him a 1 percent chance of living past 24 weeks.
So the Pierces went home and planned their unborn son’s funeral.
“We bought his funeral gown, the flowers, and made arrangements,” Jessica told WITN News.
But Lennox defied the odds, and 14 weeks later, he made his way into the Pierces’ lives.
The toddler suffers from Oromandibular Limb Hypogenesis Syndrome (OLHS) and Moebius sequence. He has no hands and is missing the lower portion of his legs below the knees. He also has a deformed jaw and no tongue. His face is paralyzed, and he can’t smile, frown, or even blink.
According to UNC Healthcare News, only one in 50,000 to one in 500,000 infants are diagnosed with Moebius sequence, and it is rarer still to see it combined with Lennox’s other disorders. Jessica said that doctors believe he is the only person ever born with both conditions.
After spending the first few months of his life at the University of North Carolina Children’s Hospital, Lennox went home to live with his mom, dad, and siblings. Currently, he is eating baby food with a syringe but gets most of his nourishment through a feeding tube. He has had surgery on his jaw, and Jessica anticipates tongue surgery sometime in the future.
She estimates that over 100 doctors and nurses in several specialties have worked with Lennox since his birth.
And much like this young amputee featured in the Inquisitr last July, Lennox is a fighter. Today, he is a thriving 2-and-a-half-year-old toddler who is learning to walk with the aid of prosthetic legs.
“Oh, he’s feisty,” his mom says. “He keeps up with his older siblings.”
Lennox was fitted with artificial limbs in the spring of 2014, and his mom says he can stack blocks and push his toy cars with the prosthetic arms. He also decided on his own to start using the legs a few months ago.
“He’s been walking with the walker,” she said.
Developmentally, Jessica says, Lennox is just fine and he is very smart. And like a typical toddler, he knows how to ham it up for attention.
“He’s pretty spoiled. He knows he’s pretty cute,” she says.
Jessica has started a Facebook page, Limbs for Lennox, to document their journey.
What’s next for Lennox? Jessica is hoping Lennox can get Myoelectric arms, which are controlled by electrical signals generated by muscles. But right now, the family is just looking forward to seeing dad, who has been deployed overseas and will be seeing his son walk for the first time when he returns home this month.
[Images via WITN News and UNC Healthcare]