When Jaxon Emmett Buell was diagnosed with anencephaly, a rare birth defect, doctors didn't expect him to survive his birth. But Jaxon did survive, and under the care of parents Brandon and Brittany Buell, he recently celebrated his first birthday.
After Jaxon was born on Aug. 27, 2014, he spent his first weeks in a neonatal intensive-care unit. While his successful birth beat the odds, there was still much concern about his continued health. Brandon Buell told the Daily Mail, "It was very emotional. I remember holding him on day two and listening to the doctors say my son would probably never walk, never talk, never know when he's hungry, or never hear or see. They really did not expect him to make it."
While the Buells attempt to remain positive, they remain grounded and realistic about Jaxon's condition. "I try to stay positive 99 per cent of the time but there is that 1 per cent because I know the reality of the situation - that we're probably going to outlive him," Brittany Buell admitted Brittany to the Daily Mail.
Recently, Jaxon has been behaving just like any other baby. Brittany told WOFL-TV, "He says 'Mama', 'Daddy' sounds like 'Addy'. He's learning to crawl. He scoots forward, but mostly just gets irritated. He can scoot five feet when he wants to."
Despite some setbacks, Jaxon continues to impress and exceed expectations. "They told us two weeks, two months, two years," Brittany Buell told WOFL-TV. "Now, they are finally telling us 'we don't know.'"
Jaxon has a strong social media presence, with both a popular Facebook page and a GoFundMe page set up by Brandon's coworkers. This not only provides financial support for the Buells, but emotional support as well. "It's all been so overwhelming in a positive way because we can't go anywhere without someone stopping us, and saying, 'Hey, what's your story?'" Brittany Buell told the Daily Mail. "It's truly incredible the amount of people he has had an impact on."
Jaxon is not the only baby surmounting incredible setbacks. According to the Mirror, Mia McConnelogue was born with a form of leukemia called "blueberry muffin syndrome," where she developed blue lesions across her body. Remarkably, after undergoing three rounds of chemotherapy and a bone transplant, she went home with her parents. "You wouldn't even know that she has been through anything," said Mia's mom Stephanie. "She is a happy, healthy little baby."
Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, Jack Stevens underwent nine surgeries, suffered a stroke, and had to be resuscitated three times ”” all as a baby. Now, at 15 months old, he is finally home with his parents Chris Stevens and Ashton Hodge. "It was really difficult watching him lying in his hospital bed for so long surrounded by machines and tubes," Chris told the Daily Mail. "But we knew it was best for him and he's battled through everything - he's a real fighter."
Tessa Evans is one of only 47 in medical history to suffer from complete congenital arhinia, i.e., she was born without a nose. Recently, her parents Grainne and Nathan Evans made the decision for Tessa to undergo surgery to receive an artificial nose, and they believe she took it in stride. "Tessa is like any other little girl, she loves playing with her brother and sister, she's always smiling and has never let her condition stop her from doing anything," Grainne told the Daily Mail.
Audrina Cardenas was born with ectopia cordis: part of her heart grew outside of her chest. Remarkably, despite the fact that 90 percent of babies born with the condition die, Cardenas received an operation and went home with her mother, Ashley.
Oliver Morgan was born with no blood, but after a blood transfusion, he survived and became a healthy child. "The doctors literally brought him back to life and I will never be able to thank them enough for this wonderful gift," said Oliver's mother, Katy Morgan.
Kate and David Ogg were told that their daughter, Jamie, would not survive the trauma of her premature birth. As Kate and David cuddled Jamie, she miraculously returned to life. Five years after her birth, Jamie has not suffered any serious medical problems. "It's absolutely astounding," Kate told the Daily Mail. "This whole experience makes you cherish them more."