Practically 5 years in the past, on Jan. 5, 2017, Myra and Nathan Edwards’ lives modified eternally.
Their son, Bentley, got here into the world, a bouncing child boy. No less than that’s what they thought.
Two days later, because the younger couple was making ready to depart the hospital and take their son house, an alert nurse seen not all was effectively, although she couldn’t fairly put a finger on it.
“One thing simply appears off to me,” Myra recollects the nurse saying earlier than taking Bentley to the new child intensive care unit for checks. Whereas there, little Bentley skilled seizures, and the hospital workers found he had suffered a pediatric stroke throughout delivery.
He was transferred to Brenner Youngsters’s Hospital, the place docs confirmed he had skilled vital mind injury.
“On the (MRI) photographs, the physician confirmed us the components of Bentley’s mind which had died off,” Myra Edwards mentioned.
Docs then ready the couple for what they mentioned lay forward of them — a lifetime of caring for Bentley, whose mind injury was so in depth he would by no means be capable of take care of himself.
“Primarily based on the components that have been broken, Bentley would have a motion problem like cerebral palsy on his left aspect, his left aspect could be weaker, he may have developmental delays, in addition to some imaginative and prescient impairment,” she mentioned.
Humorous factor was, nobody defined that to Bentley. Over the approaching days he acted largely as a baby who had suffered no stroke — consuming effectively, performing alert, transferring and creating as a child is anticipated to in his first days of life.
Finally, they have been capable of take Bentley house, although he remained beneath common care with in-home remedy periods and doctor-office visits for 18 months, when his medical group determined it was time to cease the therapies.
“They mentioned ‘There’s actually nothing else we are able to do for this child, he doesn’t want us,’” Edwards mentioned not too long ago when recalling Bentley’s early remedy. “They mentioned ‘He’s progressing sooner than a child his age ought to.’”
Edwards clarified — the docs weren’t saying he was forward of what they anticipated from a stroke sufferer his age, however that he was forward of any wholesome youngster’s regular improvement.
“Bentley is nice, we name him our miracle child,” she mentioned. “He’s very candy, very affectionate, very loving. He likes to play sports activities, he loves women, bless his coronary heart he’s somewhat girl’s man. There aren’t any motion points, no imaginative and prescient points, nothing however a traditional toddler who picks and chooses what he desires to listen to.”
Edwards mentioned it was their religion that helped them by means of these darkish days after they feared for Bentley’s well being and future.
“As quickly as they advised us that, we prayed simply as onerous as we may pray,” she mentioned of when docs first broke the information to them. “There was nothing else we may do. We simply needed to let go and let God. I do know that appears like a cliche, however that’s all we may do.”
It’s also that religion, and what they’ve discovered about pediatric stroke, that has led them to carry an annual fundraising occasion to profit pediatric stroke victims and, this yr, to assist an area youngster awaiting a kidney transplant.
Final weekend, the couple hosted Stand With Bentley at The Barn at Heritage Farms in Dobson. It was the third such occasion — it will have been the fourth, however the 2020 model was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Myra Edwards mentioned the gathering serves a twin objective — to boost consciousness of pediatric stroke, in addition to to boost cash to assist defray prices for kids attending UNC Youngsters’s Hospital’s summer time camp, Serving to Youngsters with Hemiplegia, held in Durham every summer time.
This yr, nevertheless, Myra mentioned they determined to alter the main target, elevating cash for Zoe Corridor, an area 2-year-old recognized at delivery with the uncommon kidney illness, congenital nephrotic syndrome.
At first, Edwards mentioned she and her husband wasn’t positive what they have been going to do, apart from preserve the proceeds native.
“We didn’t know who we have been going to present it to, however we wished to maintain it native…after we went by means of our struggles, we had an enormous help system…now we wished to be that for another person.”
They began planning the occasion — Stand with Bentley: Pediatric Stroke Charity Occasion — nonetheless on the lookout for a recipient.
“Zoe Corridor popped in my head,” she mentioned. “Her mother and I went to highschool collectively.” She mentioned that she and Zoe’s mother weren’t notably shut, however they knew each other and she or he knew of Zoe’s situation.
“God laid this candy woman on our hearts,” she defined. “Zoe isn’t a pediatric stroke survivor, however she is a survivor in her personal proper. She is a fighter, an overcomer, and a miracle. While you see her, you see God’s loving kindness.”
Edwards mentioned space individuals really rallied across the trigger this yr.
“This was our largest yr. We had somewhat over 2,000 individuals.”
She mentioned there have been 60 craft distributors readily available, together with sponsor tables, 5 meals vans, together with The Flying Hatchet, an ax-throwing troupe from Greensboro.
“They donated all of their proceeds from the occasion straight to Zoe,” Myra Edwards mentioned. “We had numerous distributors donate their proceeds to Zoe. That was phenomenal.”
The perfect information of all was that Zoe was not capable of attend — as a result of she had lastly reached the required weight wanted for the transplant, and acquired a brand new kidney only a few days earlier than Sunday’s gathering in Dobson.
“We have been capable of Face Time them, so she obtained to see the group,” Edwards mentioned.
Whereas Zoe and her household weren’t accessible to speak — they have been making ready for a doable discharge this week — Edwards mentioned all was effectively as of Wednesday.
“Zoe is a strong-willed, courageous woman who loves life to the fullest. She’s crammed with love, laughter, sass, and spunk. Her dad and mom are extraordinarily grateful for the love and help that’s repeatedly proven by our group, they usually thanks all.”