On March 15, 2011, Lane entered the world. As his parents were rejoicing for the birth of their baby boy, they were also very nervous about the road ahead. During his birth, Lane suffered a severe hypoxic brain injury. At less than 24 hours old, Lane started to have seizures and was eventually placed on a ventilator. It was at this point that doctors decided to transfer Lane to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). During his two-week stay in the NICU, Lane overcame many milestones. His parents celebrated as his seizures were controlled, he breathed on his own, and he took milk by mouth.
After his two-week stay in the NICU, Lane arrived home for the first time. With the arrival home came a new schedule for him and his parents. Lane was required to take seizure medications daily and was connected to an apnea monitor at all times. The hardest part for his parents was that they did not know the extent of his injuries, nor did his doctors. His parents were not sure if Lane would only develop small delays, such as being behind in school, or if he would have more severe difficulties, requiring around-the-clock care.
At three months old, an MRI revealed more telling information about the extent of his injury. The MRI showed that there were areas all over Lane’s brain that were injured. The only reason that he did not require a ventilator for breathing was because his brain stem was unaffected. Lane’s injuries were still a “wait-and-see game.” Lane’s mother, Misti, stated that for the next few months, “we took it day by day anxiously waiting to see milestones.” Unfortunately, most of the milestones they were waiting for were not met.
It took a couple years of trial of error with different seizure medications before being placed on a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet. This diet along with three other seizure medications reduced Lane’s seizures from more than 20 a day to three to five a day.
One of the hardest decisions for Lane’s parents involved his swallowing and breathing issues. Because of recurrent pneumonia and hospitalizations, Lane had to have a feeding tube placed. Swallow studies showed that Lane was aspirating his food into his lungs. Along with aspirating his food, Lane also had what they called a “floppy airway.” His muscle tone in his airway was not strong enough to adequately bring air in and out. Lane’s parents made the biggest and scariest decision to have doctors perform a tracheostomy, a surgical opening in his windpipe to make breathing easier. This tracheostomy is what improved his quality of life!
Lane has experienced many obstacles and triumphs in his five years. His parents are incredibly thankful for the amazing doctors and nurses who have been so dedicated to saving their son’s life. Misti says, “He has overcome many milestones in his short lifetime, and he is truly our hero.”