Fight Mantra: I Fight For Family
Fight Law: “Greats Never Take a Round Off” – George
We asked Brendan what EVERYBODYFIGHTS meant to him and his fight:
“It is about being strong in the face of adversity. No matter how many days in the hospital, surgeries, doctors visits, I fight for my family. For showing my son that no matter what is wrong with him, he get up every day and know that he can do anything he sets his mind to. That for as much as I try to inspire him, he is my true inspiration.”
Brendan’s family faced adversity when his son had complications at birth. Here is there fight story: Our son was born 3 weeks early (and had stopped growing 7 weeks prior) so he was born at 4 lbs 11 oz. He was in the NICU for about a month in total, he was requiring a lot of oxygen to breath and they found out he had a blood clot in his right pulmonary artery, which is extremely rare (every Dr. we have talked to or had this mentioned to has said they have never seen one in their entire career). Once the clot was under control we were able to bring him home and the 1st night home he had a pneumothorax, air trapped outside his lung and in his chest cavity required further hospitalization. Once we brought him home it was discovered he had severe acid re-flux and was aspirating into his lungs. He went in for a surgery to fix that and also afterwards needed to be fed by feeding tube in his stomach, which he still needs and gets food from. Once that was fixed he has had continued need for oxygen at night and we went in for a lung biopsy where it was discovered he has a condition where his lungs did not develop properly and are less efficient in capturing oxygen. This condition is also extremely rare to have. Its is normally found in children with downs syndrome (which he does not have) so there are literally no studies or literature on it as 99% of kids with it have so much other stuff going on with them its not viewed as being as important as fixing the other stuff. There were numerous other hospital stays for various surgeries/tests and due to his lung condition his body is extremely susceptible to respiratory infections/virus. Essentially every time he has gotten a cold it has required a week long hospital stay. Now we are coming up on his 1st birthday and he, hopefully, is beginning to turn a corner. He is gaining weight, still on oxygen at night and using his feeding tube, but not dependent on them. Throughout everything he has always had a smile on his face and gotten back up on his feet. He is a fighter in the truest sense of the word, even though he doesn’t know what that means yet. He should grow out of his need for oxygen over the next few years and we are hopeful that sometime within the next year he can get his feeding tube removed.
The Takeaway and Brandon’s pay it forward message
1. Fight for Family
2. Advocate, Advocate, Advocate
They key is to be an advocate for whoever is there and as you said watch and question everything the Dr’s do, not because you don’t trust in their abilities but because you can be armed with that same knowledge and asking questions also forces them to focus on the patient in front of them and review the treatment course both in their minds and with you. There were so many times that because we asked a question we either prevented Declan (my son) from getting incorrect treatment (dosage or medicine) or sparking a thought in the nurse or Dr to try something different that may be more effective. Hospitals are busy places and being the advocate and sometimes to a certain extent bully to get things done quicker or better is really all you can do besides supporting your family and the person in the hospital.
3. Always Fight. Always Stay positive.
4. Never Fight Alone!
I could not have gotten through any of it without the love and support of my wife, who bore the brunt of the responsibilities and was strong every step of the way.