Many parents take developmental milestones for granted, but Brandon and Brittany Buell don’t (video below).
Their 17-month-old son, Jaxon Buell, was born with microhydranencephaly, meaning his brain and skull weren’t completely developed. Although doctors warned the Tavares, Florida, couple that their son may not survive past birth, he recently learned how to use a pacifier and they posted a video of it to their Facebook page, Jaxon Strong. The minute-long clip has gone viral, garnering nearly 300,000 views since it was posted on Feb. 7.
“Until today, Jaxon was not able to suck on a pacifier after many months of working on it with him. We tried again and watched Jax teach himself how to hold on to it for several minutes at a time,” his parents wrote in the video’s description. “This is very encouraging for the possibility of one day kicking the feeding tube completely. We were so excited for Jaxon that we forgot the game was on for a little while!”
Commenters praised the family for their persistence and shared their own stories of raising children with disabilities. “(My 16-year-old daughter Chloe) wasn't meant to live past 5. She was never going to walk, she did. She was never going to eat solid food, she does. She is disabled yes, she doesn't talk but she communicates and she is happy,” wrote Lisa Wrigley.
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“Jaxon will continue to amaze you because the small brain he has is 'plastic' and will learn to do the things that his missing and damaged parts of brain can’t… You never know what the future holds, so live each day with hope and excitement for the future.”
Jaxon’s family is grateful for their son’s progress. “Jaxon has already shown how strong, smart, and special he is, accomplishing feats that doctors doubted he'd ever be able to do, shows improvements each and every day,” Brandon Buell wrote on a family’s GoFundMe page in September 2014.