Hayden was a healthy 5-year-old little boy until October, 20th 2016. It was on this day that he was put in the hospital with progressing weakness which turned into Acute Flaccid Myelitis. AFM can cause your body to attack the spinal cord and brain stem. It can cause swelling in those regions, along with lesions which affect numerous parts of the body. AFM is a mystery to most doctors around the United States as there are only about 200 cases each year. The treatment the doctors give is experimental. Hayden has received high doses of steroids, five rounds of plasmapheresis and two rounds of IVIG. AFM has caused parts of Hayden’s body to have paralysis and has made it difficult for him to breathe on his own. Hayden has had a Tracheotomy placed for breathing and a G button placed for eating. He has been unable to walk and has difficulty moving his neck and his right arm.
Before being diagnosed, Hayden was an extremely active little boy. This was his first year going to school. He played soccer, t-ball, and was on the swim team. Hayden was also involved in karate for nearly two years. He loves anything involving sports or activities. His favorite team to watch is the St. Louis Cardinals. Hayden loves Fred Bird! Hayden is very smart and always learns things faster than most. Hayden’s favorite thing of all time is dinosaurs! If you ask him which dinosaur is his favorite, he will say all of them! His favorite movie is Jurassic World and he has watched it nearly 1000 times in the last few months.
When asked about Hayden’s journey, his dad said, “It has been a roller coaster to say the least. We have had our ups and downs, good times and bad, happy and sad. We are trying to stay strong for Hayden, so he sees us and he tries to stay strong as well.”
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