Weighing in at only 1 lb 15.7 oz, Bryson was born at 26 weeks gestation in August 2007. Such an early arrival brought about multiple health complications and concerns. The main issue Bryson faced during his 7 month stay in the NICU at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center was his immature lungs and getting them to strengthen and function correctly.
He developed a lung condition called broncopulmonary dysplasia and was placed on a ventilator for around 5 months. Upon discharge from the NICU in 2008, Bryson’s mother and father realized that something may be wrong with his hearing as he was not responding normally to loud noises. After many hearing tests, it was determined that Bryson had profound hearing loss in both ears.
Due to this, Bryson received hearing aids; however, it was determined that hearing aids were not strong enough. Bryson was then labeled a candidate to receive a cochlear implant. He received this implant in November 2009 and was instantly able to hear the outside world to which he had been previously denied access. He now has the cochlear implant on his right ear and a hearing aid on his left.
Additionally, it was also determined that Bryson has diplegia spastic cerebral palsy. Until 2012, Bryson had to crawl and walk with a walker. Then, at the age of 5, Bryson underwent a ground-breaking surgery called a selective dorsal rhizotomy at St. Louis Children’s Hospital under the hands of Dr. T.S. Park. After this surgery and an additional complementing surgery, Bryson underwent physical therapy 5 times a week for many months and began walking unassisted in January 2013. He is doing well and receives therapy 2-3 times a week.
Bryson is a zealous kindergartner at Brown Elementary School and loves video games, maps, long rides in the car, Pop Tarts, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He loves his mommy, daddy, grandparents, and his new baby sister Savannah Ann-Marie, who joined the family in September 2013!