Drew was born via C-Section on September 3 and even before his birth, the doctors knew he would need medical treatment right away. They had concluded that he had Prune Belly Syndrome, a condition in which babies are born without their abdominal muscles along with other urologic abnormalities. His birth mother concluded that she could not provide him the proper medical treatment that he needed, so he was placed into an adoption service. Less than 30 days later, Ryan and Heather learned of this spunky, red-headed boy and quickly made plans to adopt him.

The first step in Drew’s treatment was surgery. While his parents were nervous, they praise the staff at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger for easing their nerves and creating a calm environment for their family. All the doctors were pleased with the outcome of the surgery, and Drew would then begin his recovery.

Over the next 34 days in the PICU, Drew experienced many highs and lows. After a few unsuccessful attempts to take him off of his ventilator, his parents learned that he would have to depend on this machine for 1-2 years along with a tracheostomy, a tube in his neck for assisted breathing. His parents were devastated. However, they kept a brave face for their one-year-old boy and persevered as they spent the holiday season in the hospital.

Upon arriving at home, Drew began to show signs that he had bigger plans for himself. He impressed his physical therapist by showing her that yes—he could still walk! He also quickly downsized on his trach and showed signs that he could spend longer and longer periods of time breathing on his own. After seeing a couple more doctors, his trach was removed and he could breathe on his own. All of this happened in less than five months! His parents praise God for their little miracle child.

While Drew still deals with health issues, his parents consider this “merely an inconvenience.” They are thankful for the doctors, nurses, and staff members at Children’s Hospital at Erlanger that “have touched our lives in a million different ways.”