Baby born without most of his brain defies the odds

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

TAVARES, Fla. — A Florida baby celebrated his first birthday at the end of August. It was a milestone Jaxon Buell wasn’t supposed to make because he was born without most of his brain.

According to the Boston Globe, Jaxon was born with a severe brain malformation that kills most infants within days or hours of birth. Many don’t survive long enough to be born.

Jaxon's parents, Brandon and Brittany Buell, didn't learn of their son's condition, called anencephaly, until they got home from the hospital.

“It means no brain outside of a brainstem,” Brandon Buell told the Globe.

But Jaxon's medical complications have grown even as he has defied the odds and lived longer than expected. Last month, he was taken to the emergency room at Boston Children’s Hospital, one of the top hospitals for pediatric neurology.

“Our plan was to go to the emergency room because they can’t turn you away,” Brittany Buell told the Globe. “We walked in and said ‘We’re here from Florida.’”

That’s when the family learned Jaxon has microhydranencephaly, meaning he has a brainstem but his cerebellum did not form properly. His most recent brain scan showed almost nothing.

The family returned to Florida after three weeks, but Jaxon was given a new medication that is helping him sleep better. The family has chronicled their journey on Facebook with the hashtag #JaxonStrong. They also have a GoFundMe page.

The couple said people often ask if the pictures of their son are fake or Photoshopped.

“No, our baby is not Photoshopped,” the parents have said repeatedly.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.