Six-year-old Brayden Wobig is an example how fragile life is…in an instant a healthy child can suffer medical complexities that will forever change his future. At Children’s Care Hospital and School our teachers, therapists, and other staff work each day to make the lives of the children we serve a little bit better.
Brayden’s birth was fairly typical, spending only a few days in the hospital before going home with his parents. His life took an altering course when at seven weeks old, he quit breathing at daycare. After his daycare provider and her husband applied CPR, he was rushed to the hospital in Mitchell, and later sent to a Sioux Falls hospital suffering multiple seizures on the way. In an instant his family’s life changed forever.
Brayden’s mom, Christie Wobig, says they found out later that Brayden had an esophageal stricture and had aspirated. As a result of the trauma, the portion of his brain controlling the body’s voluntary movements (sitting, crawling, walking), along with communication and learning functions was severely affected.
Children’s Care was there when Brayden’s family needed therapy and education support. “Children’s Care has been a blessing,” says Christie. “I didn’t think they could teach someone with disabilities to do some of these things. It’s been an eye opener.”
Brayden came to Children’s Care when he was three. Since that time, he has made remarkable progress and captivates everyone he meets. According to his teacher, Robert Beringer, “Everyone knows Brayden for his smile – his cheesy grin from ear to ear – it’s infectious.”
When Brayden first came to Children’s Care he used his left hand most times, but now uses both hands. In addition, he has overcome a gagging reflex he used to experience when touching things like fuzzy balls or textured items.
Brayden has learned to swallow better making it easier for him to eat which is a step toward independence. He knows his colors, animals, shapes, letters, and responds to questions about stories. Even more importantly, Children’s Care has given him the ability and tools to communicate better. He’s been given a sense of independence through the use of a power mobility chair at school says his mother.
Just recently, Brayden received a new communication device that uses ipad-like technology allowing him to make choices and decisions by nudging a button with his head. Otherwise, he communicates by holding up a finger or through his looks and expressions.
Although Brayden doesn’t have a power mobility chair at home, he can take his communication device home which opens doors to communicating with his family. The device is personalized with his school schedule, songs he has learned, pictures of his family, and more.
Brayden’s teachers are proud of the progress he’s made and say that his glowing personality shines through even more as he gains independence. He is beginning to enjoy and do some of the same things other children his age do. “The progress he has made academically is phenomenal. You take away his disabilities and he’s just like every other kid,” says Beringer.
“Brayden’s parents put the time in to help him – over and beyond what some families do,” continued Beringer. “They have run with everything we recommend – and they bring him everywhere. We’re benefiting from what they’re doing and they benefit from what we’re doing”Christie would love to see her son walk, talk, and not be dependent on his feeding tube. His brother, Jaedon, and sister, Ashtyn, are helpful with Brayden’s day-to-day care, but would love to be able to play with him like they do with each other.
Through the dedication of staff at Children’s Care and the love and support of a caring family, Brayden is beating the odds – he’s learning, growing, and becoming more independent.
With the help of Children’s Care and generous individuals who support our mission, those dreams may be within reach!