Hospice nurse Michelle Linn was expecting to have a tearful and emotional meeting with her new patient, an infant named Braden West. After all, the parents of this baby were meeting with her – a hospice nurse – to go over his end of life care, even though he was only a few months old.
Braden was diagnosed with Pfeiffer Syndrome, type 2. Health professionals didn’t expect him to live past 18 months of age and his prognosis was bleak. But when he entered hospice care at only a few months old, Michelle was surprised by how optimistic his mom was.
She wrote on Facebook about their first meeting, “She was so unexpectedly joyful and proceeded to say, ‘I can’t wait for you meet him, he’s so awesome, you’re going to love him.’”
Braden struggled with his airways as an infant. It was hard for him to breath, which is why he was sent to hospice in the first place. One night under Michelle’s care, Braden’s breathing took a turn for the worst. She didn’t think he’d make it until morning, but prayed for a miracle. She begged God to take him or make him better.
And it seems that Michelle’s prayers were answered. Braden didn’t leave earth that night, but kept fighting to breathe and live. His condition slowly and steadily improved, until he was eventually discharged from hospice!
No one expected him to live past 2, but he kept defying the odds. Braden celebrated his 18th birthday this year and is set to graduate high school in 2021. Michelle was asked the honor of taking his senior school photos and she was more than happy to oblige.
She wrote, “As I drove there, I just kept thinking 17 years ago I cried because I thought his time on earth was ending, and now I’m crying because he is graduating high school and his life is just beginning!!!”
Keep defining the odds, Braden! You’re an inspiration to the world.