Off The Record
When They Looked At Him, Hospital Staff Warned His Parents To Prepare For The Worst
Miracles do happen every day, whether we believe in them or not. One example is the story of the young Parker Grelecki from Georgia. Little Parker’s journey is a journey of unconditional love.
Parker was born with hydrocephalus, an abnormal buildup of fluid in the ventricles (cavities) deep within the brain. This excess fluid causes the ventricles to widen, putting pressure on the brain’s tissues.
When they saw the situation, hospital staff warned his parents to prepare for the worst…
The aphorism of every parent goes “We don’t care if it’s a boy or girl, all we want is for the baby to be healthy.”
But that luxury is not reserved for every family. One such case was Crysie and Ryan Grelecki from Marietta, Georgia.
On the first ultrasound they were extremely happy, but 20 weeks into pregnancy the parents got the terrifying news.
The nurse saw that the unborn Parker, back at that time, had an abnormal head and called for expert assistance to investigate further. Parker’s situation was not well, and doctors agreed that something is clearly off…
They discovered that there was a blockage between the third and fourth ventricles of Parker’s brain, preventing the spinal fluid from draining. The result was more fluid in Parker’s brain which was pressing the brain against his skull. The condition is rare, one or two babies in every 1000 births in the US.
For every parent these kind of news can be horrifying, spine-chilling and devastating, but the family Grelecki stood strong. They loved their unborn child unconditionally.
“Throughout my pregnancy when I would let my thoughts spiral downward with thoughts of “what if” and just plan fear, God would remind me of a song. The lyrics that would play over and over in my head and fill me with His peace went like this – “God will make a way, when there seems to be no way, He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me … He will be my guide, hold me closely by His side, with love and strength for each new day God will make a way,” Crysie shared on her Facebook.
Little Parker was delivered with C-section at 39 weeks.
For the family, the delivery of their boy was chaotic. They had no idea if he’s going to survive. Let alone have a brith future ahead of him if he does. But they were determined and incredibly enthusiastic about his recovery.
“I was by his side the whole time—talking to him, praying over him, holding his hand, rubbing his head. That unconditional love just rushes over you, and here is this helpless baby that’s been entrusted to me and I can’t do anything for him,” Ryan told.
When Parker turned two (days not years) medical experts at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta started to drain the excess liquid from his skull and relieve the pressure. This allowed Parker’s brain to develop as it should, naturally.
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After that, he began to undergo operations. Doctors performed craniofacial surgeries to correct his skull malformation, but they knew they were facing a huge challenge.
“Our goal was to go in and re-expand the skull, open the skull up and separate those bones that had grown together. And, that was basically what we did— getting the space for his brain to grow and grow normally,” recalls Joseph Williams, M.D., Chief of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery at the hospital.
In just a matter of two weeks, Parker was able to set foot home. In four weeks he began with his physical therapy.
By the time Parker celebrated 20 months of life, he had to do seven successful surgeries and recovered from each one of them! According to his mother, it took some time for Parker to recover, but his heroic persistence got the job done.
He was so eager to start walking that he skipped the crawling stage! Parker’s parents cannot express enough gratitude to the Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and the fantastic staff, who felt like a family to them. The staff took care of Parker as one of their own children.
Parker’s recovery is just one of many of the hospital’s remarkable success stories, which is world-famous for its rehabilitation program.
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