Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas Blessings

About one year ago, our 3rd child was born. I've had a few people who read this blog ask for an update. His name is Gideon and he was born with spina bifida. The short version is that he's doing better than we ever could have hoped. We've been truly blessed.

He underwent surgery shortly after he was born to close up his back. Spina bifida literally means open spine. There was a little bubble on his back, just above his bum, where a bit of his spinal cord had poked out of the protective surrounding of the spine. The expert doctors closed up his back and put the spinal cord back in place.

As you might imagine, having your spinal cord outside your body isn't the safest place. Lots of kids with spina bifida have trouble related to a damaged spinal cord. Gideon is no exception. He can't move his feet, though he does have some degree of feeling in them. He can move his knees and hips and that is a remarkable blessing.

Gideon had to have a shunt placed in his head. The shunt is a small tube (spaghetti-sized) that runs from the center of his brain, out the top of his head, and then under the skin down his body and then back into his abdomen. This relieves the pressure of fluid buildup that is also common in kids with spina bifida. He can expect to have that tube, or a similar one for the rest of his life. Once he finally gets some hair, you shouldn't be able to notice that it is there.

He has physical therapists that come to our home once a week to work with him on basic baby mobility skills. In the past week he's actually been able to crawl! It is a little later than most kids crawl, but for Gideon it represents a significant achievement.

He has little feet and ankle braces that he can wear that will help him as he learns to stand. It looks like he'll probably be able to walk, at least while he is young. As kids with spinal cord injuries grow, it is hard to know what the future will hold since it isn't uncommon for the spinal cord to snag on scar tissue as they grow and become further damaged.

We continue to pray for his well being and future success. However, the most common comment we hear from people is about what a good natured baby he is. We can't argue. He is a little gem. His older brother (4) and sister (2) are wonderful to him and are growing up far faster than I ever could have imagined.

At Christmastime, especially as we celebrate the first birthday of our own son, we are so grateful for the many blessings that the Lord has so generously bestowed on us, the greatest of which is the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


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  • That's a wonderful post, Bradley. Blessings to you and your family at Christmas.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 12/23/2007 10:26 PM  

  • How lovely to see Gideon at one year old. Thank you for the update.

    By Blogger Bored in Vernal, at 12/24/2007 1:16 AM  

  • Thanks for the update. May God continue to bless Gideon and your whole family.

    By Blogger Scott Hinrichs, at 12/24/2007 9:58 AM  

  • What a great attitude you have. He is blessed to have the parents he has. I hope the Lord continues to bless your lives.

    By Blogger Eric Nielson, at 12/28/2007 6:32 AM  

  • That is such a cute picture of the kids. I hope that Gideon continues to grow and amaze you every day. We'll have to try and see you guys again next summer. Mercy is so big, she was just a little tiny baby when we last saw you.

    By Blogger JandS Morgan, at 1/27/2008 11:00 PM  

  • YAY! We totally need to get together--just let me know when and we'll have you over for dinner or lunch or picnic or bbq or something...that would be so great!

    By Blogger Keryn, at 1/27/2008 11:09 PM  

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/21/2008 10:44 AM  

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