Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have surely mastered the art of empathy. They seem to have a way to make their patients feel safer and more secure. They seem to know how to calm an anxious and scared patient. They do so much for their patients but sometimes, people tend to not appreciate what they have sworn to do by this profession.
But of course, there are others who will never forget their favorite doctors or nurses.This is exactly the situation that Braden West and his family experienced. You see, Braden West from Owensboro, Kentucky, was diagnosed with Pfeiffer Syndrome, Type 2.
According to Boston Children’s Hospital website, “Pfeiffer Syndrome is defined as a complex genetic disorder that affects a child’s head, face, hands, and feet. It may include craniosynostosis, midfacial hypoplasia, proptosis, crowded teeth, cleft palate, and more. Clinical features range from mild to severe and vary for different children. Type 2 Pfeiffer Syndrome is a more severe form. It is characterized by midface hypoplasia and hydrocephalus. A child diagnosed with Type 2 Pfeiffer Syndrome may experience significant developmental delays and a shortened lifespan.”
Bradens’ mom, Cheri West, already knew from the very beginning that her son will not have an easy life. She said, “The doctor said that he first of all would not live and if he does live, he’ll be severely handicapped, blind and deaf.”
And because of his condition, his airways were blocked which is why Braden needed to be in hospice care. And while at the hospice care, Michelle Linn was the nurse who took care of him. She knew that Braden was not expected to live a long life, but she never gave up on him. She would spend hours praying by his side. She said, “I honestly wasn’t sure if he would make it in the morning. As I watched him struggle all throughout the night, I remember pleading with God to please just take him or make him better, it was just too hard for him, his family, and all those involved in his care.”
But despite Bradens’ condition, Michelle never lost hope. She is a firm believer of answered prayers. And slowly, she noticed that Bradens’ condition miraculously started to improve over the next few months in the hospice care. And from then on, everything went well for the boy and he was eventually discharged.
The doctors believed that Braden would not live longer than 18 months. But what everyone did not realize was that this boy is a fighter. He surely has beaten all the odds that life gave him!
And just this year, Braden turned 18. He is not only celebrating another year in his life, but also his high school graduation. And to make this moment more memorable, his parents decided to reach out to Michelle to ask her if she could take Bradens’ senior photos.
His former nurse may not be a professional photographer, but she surely took amazing senior photos for Braden.
Bradens’ story is truly inspirational. How he battled with his condition and how he did not let this stop him from living a content and happy life is something that we should learn from.