A mom in LaFollette is coping with her son's medical condition and sharing her story with other parents.
(WBIR-LaFollette) March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.
A mother in LaFollette is sharing her story of coping with her son's condition and also encouraging other parents.
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Emily Stroud and Jerry Owens
Andrew is Brayden's big brother. Their parents noticed some differences in their development.
"Andrew was right on track as far as sitting up and rolling over and little things and Brayden wasn't. He was definitely delayed," Madeline Miller said.
He had trouble eating and got a feeding tube. Some other issues convinced his parents to see several specialists until a neurologist found a diagnosis.
"He did have in fact PVL, which the long version of that is periventricular leukomalacia which in layman's terms means he has holes in his brain," she explained.
Madeline Miller said it's a brain injury that happened before he was born.
"It was hard to hear but we were glad that we knew. We finally knew. So we knew how to take care of him. That was the biggest part," she said. "It won't heal or come back so it will always be there but we can overcompensate for what he's lacking there with extra therapy and things of that nature."
There is no cure but therapy can help manage some of the side effects. Communication has helped Madeline. She has found a lot of support on social media. She recommends parents seek out virtual groups online and on Facebook.
"Talking to people has been the best help. Yeah, you can hear from the doctors but there's nothing like hearing from another mom who has overcome that small task that is harder to do in his daily living," she said.
His parents have a system worked out to take care of Brayden and Andrew likes to pitch in too.
"Andrew absolutely loves his little brother. He tries to help take care of him. He likes going to the doctor with him. He means the absolute world to us," she said. "He is absolutely happy. He is so full of life. He just loves playing and running around. He will smile and it lights up the entire room."
That gives her hope.
"We're going to prove the doctors wrong. That's our goal in life for him," she said.