Three years ago, Heather Britton gave birth to a baby boy named Chase. He was born prematurely, and was legally blind. Heather and her husband David thought that their son was otherwise normal. But when Chase wasn’t crawling by the time he was a year old, they took him to a specialist to see what was wrong.
Chase’s doctor initially suspected a mild case of cerebral palsy, but an MRI turned up a far more startling scenario: Chase’s brain was missing two of its most important sections: the cerebellum, which controls motor functions, balance, and emotions; and the pons, the part of the brain stem responsible for regulating breathing and sleeping. According to the medical evidence, Chase shouldn’t be alive at all, or at most, should be in a vegetative state.
Instead, Chase is thriving. He has been working with a team of dedicated therapists since infancy, and their hard work has really paid off. Although his development was delayed, he eventually learned to sit upright and crawl. Now, he’s learning how to walk.
“Things that, based on that diagnosis, he should not be able to do, he is doing,”” Sharon Schultz, his preschool teacher, told WGRZ (via AOL News). “I mean, walking up and down the hall, riding a bike, holding a pencil or a pen to work on projects, using scissors.”
After seeing how far her son has come, Heather Britton knows that the medical world doesn’t always have the last word. “I love doctors. But they can be wrong. … Chase is extremely healthy. And he’s extremely smart—his motor skills just haven’t caught up,” she told AOL News.
“People could view this as a tragic story. But that depends on how you look at life. You can be angry or you can appreciate what you have been given,” she said.
“Chase was meant to be with us.”
Long live “Chase”