Jaxon Strong, or “Jax Strong,” is the nickname for Jaxon Buell, the adorable little guy in the image above.
In his short life, he has fought hard to earn that name. Doctors only gave him a few days to live when it was determined he would be born without “most of” his brain and skull, the Daily Mail reports.
Somehow he has beaten those odds and continues to do so with the celebration of his first birthday. His parents are devout Christians and, faced with the option of terminating the pregnancy or giving Jaxon a chance to fight, they chose the latter.
“We did everything we could to give him a fighting chance, and all he’s done since being born is fight right back,” said Brandon Buell, 30, the boy’s father.
Brandon works as an assistant to the CEO of a community bank in Florida. His wife, Brittany Buell, 27, is a stay-at-home mom, and under her care, Brandon explains, “he thrives,” adding that it’s the “one-to-one stimulation that no other therapy can give.”
“If we can keep Brittany at home, giving him that 24/7 care is truly priceless,” Brandon added, noting that a GoFundMe set up in honor of “Jaxon Strong” has provided more than $54,000 in additional support.
The grateful mom and dad explain that they first found out Jaxon’s pregnancy would not be a “normal” one at the 17-week ultrasound, when the technician seemed to be focusing on the little boy’s head when she went silent.
“Brittany got the call the next day from the doctors saying there was a concern with the MRI results,” Brandon said. “She was in tears and told me there was an issue with the baby. Of course, I lost it at work so they sent me home and the rest of the day was a blur truly.”
The troubled mom and dad spent the next several weeks living with the daily horror that their child could be stillborn. Doctors narrowed it down to five possible conditions, including spina bifida, Dandy-walker syndrome, and Joubert syndrome.
“I was devastated,” Brittany confessed. “It was heartbreaking because something I always wanted my whole life was happening, but then I was told there was a possibility it might be a stillborn. It took all the joy away from me. The happiness that normal women have when they are pregnant — I had none of that.”
Following the birth of little Jaxon Strong, the couple struggled to understand what their next moves were.
“It was very emotional,” Brandon tells the Daily Mail. “I remember holding him on day two and listening to the doctors say my son would probably never walk, never talk, never know when he’s hungry, or never hear or see. They really did not expect him to make it.”
Jaxon suffered multiple seizures and feeding tube issues. His first two months were riddled with problems like these and uncontrollable screaming until a specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital would finally diagnose his condition — Microhydranencephaly. This led to the prescribing of a new medicine that made life much easier on the parents and their “little Jaxon Strong.”
Celebrating this milestone with him has left mom and dad grateful, but they do realize it probably isn’t going to get any easier.
“It is always in the back of my mind,” Brittany said. “I’m very aware that today maybe his last day. I’m aware tomorrow he may not be here. I try to stay positive 99 percent of the time but there is that 1 percent because I know the reality of the situation — that we’re probably going to outlive him.”
In the meantime, the Buells — specifically their little fighter — have stolen the hearts of people on social media. At the time of this post, they’ve amassed more than 18,000 shares, 80,000 likes, and countless comments on Facebook.
The GoFundMe page set up in Jax’s honor has also obtained support from more than 1,200 donors. You can donate at this link if you’re so inclined.
Do you support this mom and dad’s decision?
[Image of Jaxon Strong via GoFundMe, Buell Family]