Florida dad Brandon Buell knows the hardship and joy that come with raising a child with severe disabilities. His toddler son Jaxon was born with part of his skull and brain missing due to a rare condition called microhydranencephaly, but the resilient little guy has been inspiring people all around the world through his Facebook page, Jaxon Strong.
“In the first three weeks of Jaxon’s life, when we were still with him in the NICU and there was so much uncertainty, the doctors would continuously prepare us for the worst and to get ready to take Jaxon home simply for ‘comfort care,'” Buell told The Huffington Post.
“They truly did not expect him to make it very long,” he continued. “Yet, every day that we were with Jaxon, even from the beginning, we were seeing a small glimmer of hope, which has grown more and more each day, and it was that hope in him and the fight he always had that very naturally gave him the nickname of ‘Jaxon Strong.'”
The night before Jaxon turned 13 months old, Buell wrote a long Facebook post about his son’s progress and the challenges and misconceptions their family faces on a daily basis.
“It’s hard not to think about how this all started and where we are today,” the dad wrote. “Most importantly, Jaxon is still here with us, still learning, still developing, still thriving. He’s back to smiling at us, always so happy in the morning after he wakes up and takes turns looking at both Mommy’s and Daddy’s face, seemingly as if he is so excited to start another day.”
Buell went on to discuss the way people react to Jaxon and the parents in public and online, as his first birthday milestone quickly circulated across many publications in September and his Facebook page reached over 200,000 likes. “There are so many things about Jaxon, our family, and his story that are completely misunderstood. It’s baffling to hear or see other people’s opinions on our baby that have never met him, that somehow know how he thinks, how he acts, how he feels, how much of what he does is voluntary or involuntary, how he is always in pain, and that we are selfish parents for not choosing to have an abortion, and for having a Facebook and a GoFundMe page for him,” the dad wrote.
“Most will never know the joy and the struggles that we experience behind closed doors with Jaxon,” Buell continued, openly explaining his son’s condition, his family’s decision-making process while their baby was still in utero and the story behind the Facebook GoFundMe page, which was created by a former colleague to keep Jaxon’s extended family informed of his progress.
“We’re proud of Jaxon for being so strong,” the dad added. “We’re proud of his story and that it has inspired so many people. We’re humbled by how many lives Jax has touched, and by the countless people, organizations, publications, and celebrities with large audiences that have either contacted us or have chosen to highlight and share his journey on their own.
“Though there are very difficult days, the dad says Jaxon is nothing short of a “blessing” to his family — a description he says he’s heard hundreds of parents of kids with special needs use. “Unless you walk a mile in our shoes, it’s very easy to judge without any basis or accuracy, but this journey is incredibly rewarding,” he said. “And we now know an extremely large community of other amazing and supportive parents that completely relate to that.”
The story of Jaxon Strong is nothing short of a miracle. It is true that life is about perspective. What may appear to someone as a challenge impossible to overcome can be to another, a great opportunity to tap into the strength and courage that they never knew lied within them. What challenges are you facing today? Are you on the verge of giving up?
If you feel that your difficult experiences are the most painful ever experienced on earth and there is no way you could enjoy life again, consider the story of Jaxon Strong and how, amidst the challenges and negative comments, this family still finds Joy in walking the journey of life with their son. This is something that should inspire us all to thrive to be grateful and never give up no matter the odds. If you’re in a space where you’re wondering how to regain your strength and courage to move beyond trials of life, click on the banner below.
Additional content from : huffingtonpost.com