A young boy born with a malformed brain defied all odds after his doctors told his parents that he’d never walk, smile, or sit up.
Owen James, 18 months old, was diagnosed with Lissencephaly when he was just 3 months old, The Daily Mail reported. The disorder means that his brain does not have the usual folds and ridges a normal brain would have but rather it is as smooth as an egg.
Doctors informed his parents, Taryn and Vincent DiCandilo, that he might never walk, talk or show emotion due to his condition. His life expectancy was projected to 10 years old.
“We are a happy, young family and these rare conditions can happen to anyone,” Taryn told the Daily Mail Australia.
When Owen was born on December 21, 2013, his mother had gone through a healthy pregnancy, which is why when he began to be incredibly irritable for two months, his parents felt something was amiss.
“He was born like a healthy baby,” Taryn said. “There wasn’t any complications during the pregnancy and we took him home with everything looking absolutely fine.”
She continued: “At ten weeks we noticed some problems with his vision. He wasn’t reaching out to touch toys or looking at or following things in front of his face.
"That really sparked an alarm bell. From then on, I was quite pushy — I just wanted to know why my little man wasn’t the happiest.”
At 3 months, Owen went through a regiment of testing which revealed his condition.
“If you read up on the condition, you’d be hard pressed to find anything that offers much hope,” said Taryn. “It reads that he won’t ever support his own head, crawl, sit, stand, walk, talk, show emotion and will live far from a ‘normal’ life.”
Despite this diagnosis, Owen has been able to defy all odds and accomplish some things that doctors thought he wouldn’t be able to.
“He can sit on his own for 10 seconds which is just massive for us,” said the mother. “Even though they’d be small improvements for others, for us they’re massive gains.”
He is also reportedly laughing and smiling more regularly now.
“He’s quite a cheeky little boy,” she said. “He’s shy around people he doesn’t know but when he warms up to them he’s so happy, cheeky and determined.”
The family cites their positive attitude and outlook as their main driving force throughout the day.
“Owen picks up on our vibes and if we’re happy around him, he’s a happy little man too,” she said.
Owen is currently undergoing new types of therapy and programs in order to help him along in his development process.
There is currently a YouCaring.com fundraising page for Owen where people can donate money to help assist the family with Owen’s therapy as well as the equipment he will need to get by in his day-to-day life.
Photo Credit: Taryn DiCandilo/The Daily Mail