Although originally born with an extremely rare condition which causes the brain to grow outside of the skull and given a small chance of survival, a 7-month-old infant is now thriving.
Dustin and Sierra Yoder of Sugarcreek, Ohio, knew that their son Bentley had a rare condition called encephalocele. Doctors originally told Sierra that Bentley would likely die soon after his birth, and if he survived, he would have no cognitive ability, according to The Washington Post.
The couple reportedly brought a light-blue onesie with them to the hospital after Sierra went into labor on the night of Oct. 30, 2015. They expected that they would have to bury their son in it.
"We were excited to meet him, even if it was only for an hour," Sierra told The Post.
"We were just relieved he made it that far and we would get to meet him, living and breathing."
For the first four to five hours of Bentley's life, doctors let Sierra and Dustin spend time with their son as it was expected he would soon die. But he didn't.
Thirty-six hours later, the Yoders arranged for hospice care. Bentley struggled with various health problems at first; he was hospitalized with a respiratory virus as well as strep and staph infections in his lungs.
But Bentley proved to be a fighter and managed to live through the infections and breathe on his own.
Seven months later, Bentley is alive and well after Boston Children's Hospital surgeons created a case to help place Bentley's brain back into his cranium.
The procedure was a success. According to Sierra, Bentley is now able to hold up his head; he has been eating, smiling and talking, and his hair is starting to grow back.
Bentley will no doubt face unique challenges due to his rare disorder But after being told to expect what would have been a tragic end to Sierra's pregnancy, the Yoders are now optimistic about the future.
"Because of how different his brain really is, they have no one to compare him to," Sierra told The Post.
She added that doctors believe Bentley will have a "rewarding life."
"We just have to take it step by step," she said.