Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Since today is my Tyler's 11th birthday, I thought it appropriate to share his story. It is the story of faith, miracles, power of prayer, and most of all dependance on God Almighty! Some may be familiar with it and others may not. It is my prayer that in sharing his story, you will be encouraged that our God DOES still work miracles and He is able!
Tyler was born June 27, 2001. I went in for a regular doctor appointment. We were supposed to have a scheduled c-section July 6. While at the appointment, our Dr informed us that I was already having contractions - being as we lived in Pagosa Springs and our Dr was in Durango (approximately 60 miles away), she gave us two options: go ahead and be admitted to the hospital and they would do the c-section as soon as an OR opened up; or drive back to Pagosa and know that we most certainly would be turning around and coming back to Durango that evening. We chose to stay! Of course, didn't have the hospital bag, or anything with us so Joel would get all that later. :)
Tyler's c-section went off great without a hitch. He entered the world at 6lbs. 6oz and had a little mohawk of blonde down the middle of his head! Ha ha!! From the beginning, Tyler was an active little man - he just liked to move!!!
At two weeks is when things began to change fairly rapidly for Tyler. At his regular two week check-up Tyler had failed to get back to his birth weight. Having already had 3 kids, I knew this was not normal - our family doctor agreed and sent us to a pediatrician who specialized in low weight babies. Dr. McGrath was a God send to us! He was so thorough and complete in treating Tyler. The initial diagnosis for Tyler was "failure to thrive". Basically what this means is that the baby is not developing and growing at the appropriate rate for an unknown reason.
Tyler would eat but then he would spit up almost all of it. He just stayed little. All the "usual" milestones for Tyler came much later than an average baby. Dr. McGrath continued to be mystified and thus nick named him "Tricky Tyler". Of course, I did exactly what they tell you NOT to do - I googled and searched everything on the internet to figure out what could possibly be wrong with my baby - NOT A GOOD THING TO DO!
In November 2001 our family was on vacation at Glorietta New Mexico. I had left the number with Dr. McGrath should he find ANYTHING that would explain Tyler's failure to thrive. By this time, Tyler was 5 months old and not holding his head up, not sitting or anything really. While at Glorietta we got a call that stopped us cold.
Dr. McGrath had been in contact with a Dr at Children's Hospital in Denver. After hearing all of Tyler's symptoms he concluded that he was 95% sure Tyler had Cystic Fibrosis. At the time, we knew a girl with CF but didn't really understand what it was. Dr. McGrath informed us that we needed to make plans to head to Denver as soon as we returned from vacation. That we did! However, thanks to our parents and our mentors the prayer chain was already in full force before we ever got back from vacation! Warriors were on their knees in battle for little Tyler Bay!
I remember vividly the drive to Denver - it was cold and very snowy. We had to drive over two snow packed mountain passes the whole time fearful for what lie ahead. By this time I had done some research on CF. I knew the odds for a long life were slim, I knew that should Tyler really have this, his life would be anything but normal. They did test him for CF at birth but the Dr in Denver said there are a rare number of false negative tests (like less than 5%) and he believed that Tyler fell into that category. The whole drive there, Joel and I were fairly quiet other than to just PRAY!
We checked into a house similar to a Ronald McDonald place and I am not sure either one of us slept much that night.
The next day, we started the myraid of tests at Children's Hospital. There was blood drawn, weight, height, and a sweat test. Late that morning, we met with the Dr. I will NEVER forget the look of puzzlement on his face. He said, "I am not sure you brought the same baby I talked with Dr. McGrath about. That baby had all the classic signs of CF but the tests today show that Tyler is fine. He doesn't have Cystic Fibrosis." The Dr explained that it must just be late development - We explain it a little different!
After talking to our mentor, Bay Forrest, (yes this is where Tyler gets his middle name) we all agreed - God had worked a miracle in the life of our baby! It was and still is my firm belief that Tyler had Cystic Fibrosis when we began that drive to Denver. However because of the power of prayer of many faithful warriors - God chose to heal Tyler and show us his infinite power!
I wish I could say that was the end of Tyler's story and that he has flourished and prospered since then - it isn't. Tyler did begin to make a turn at 6 months, he began gaining weight and in time sat up, crawled, walked, etc albeit at a later time than most babies.
However, at 2 years old, Tyler still didn't talk much and when he did you really couldn't understand him. Although overall his health was better, he still suffered from frequent ear infections (something he had since birth), he had random fevers, he would wake up and suddenly lose use of his legs, etc. This continued for several years. At age 4, he was in a preschool for children with disabilities. He would not interact well with other kids and really had a TEMPER! He would get frustrated and would literally tear apart his preschool room. Of course, the initial thought was "he is ADD" "he needs medication" "what's going on in your home to cause this" - you name it, we heard it. All along, I knew that medication was NOT the answer and I was determined that he would NOT be on medication.
When Tyler was 4, we FINALLY had some insight. At this time, we lived in Arkansas and were referred to Children's Hospital in Little Rock for testing. There, an audiologist finally diagnosed Tyler with moderate to severe hearing loss. She explained that his behavior was classic for children with hearing loss - he couldn't hear so why would he interact and obey. His hearing loss is best explained as hearing things as though you are underwater. After getting hearing aides, some therapy and lots of love - Tyler began to "mellow" out somewhat.
He has had tubes in his ears twice, has had tonsils taken out, has had numerous testing done on his ears and throat and through it all - he is a smiling laid back boy! There has never been an explanation for his random fevers which he occasionally still gets or for the random loss of the use of his legs which he has not had issues with in years. It is still my belief that God has and is working miracles in Tyler's life.
Tyler is still in the midst of his story. He has now been diagnosed with "pronounced learning disability". He has an IQ of 72 which is border line for Mental Retardation, he reads at a first grade level and struggles academically. He has dealt with numerous medical trials as well as social ones. He is often the target for bullying at school. Yet HE teaches ME so much! He smiles no matter the circumstances, he refers to the bullies as HIS FRIENDS. He loves with no limits and knows not an enemy! He inspires me to obey when Jesus says "pray for those who persecute you" "love your enemies" Tyler does this with the faith and innocence of a child!!
I don't know where those reading this are at but I pray that through Tyler, you like me, will see the hand of an all powerful, almighty, loving and healing God! I look forward to seeing what lies ahead for my Tyler Bay! I know that God has something BIG in store for Him because he has brought him through SO much!!!