On August 6, 2001, our little boy was born in conditions that were not optimal. Through an emergency caesarean section, Payton entered the world and we were given a special gift. However, the doctor’s prognosis was not good. Due to a lack of sufficient oxygen, he had a seizure. Doctors told us Payton would very likely not be able to hold his head up, not be able to eat regular food, not be able to sit up, not be able to crawl, and not be able to walk. He would need a lifetime of assistance, and face a lifetime of “nots.”
Payton spent ten days in the neonatal intensive care unit and came home with a prescription for a common anti-seizure medication. He was a very good baby but after a few months, it was apparent that he was falling behind on all normal developmental milestones. He received a new diagnosis. Not only did he have epilepsy, he also suffered from cerebral palsy and global developmental delay.
Payton has shown remarkable strength, courage, and tenacity through it all. We learn about what is most important in life because of him, and we don’t sweat the small stuff.
Payton averages two severe seizures per year that require intervention and has persistent “abnormal activity” in his brain that has hampered his cognitive development. Yet despite what the doctors predicted and everything he has endured, Payton has learned how to sit up, crawl, eat normal food, and has ten words of speech. We do not live our lives focusing on what he cannot do, but on all of the possibilities. The possibility of new therapies and new technologies through increased research.
The possibility of a cure.