As any parent will tell you, especially a first-time one, it's very easy to become overbearing and overly worried about an infant's health in their first few months on this planet. My son's a toddler and I still find myself constantly checking his vital signs to make sure that they're normal.
But those first couple of weeks, you're a madman Googling any and every type of illness that could befall your child. I preemptively knew how to spot an infant's flu or whether they showed signs of RSV. My wife and I would wake up in the middle of the night to check his breathing, because of the SIDS horror stories we'd heard.
Although it's nerve-wracking to think about, many illnesses and injuries that befall infants and kids happen from seemingly innocuous occurrences. Like who would ever think going down a slide with your baby could do something like this? Look closely at the little girl's poor foot. :(
Each stage of a child's life means that they're past certain dangers, like SIDS, or running into table corners and bumping their heads, but that also means they're open to new dangers, too.
Like when your infant is old enough to keep their head up and is too big/chunky for their baby-rocker or bassinet, it's temping to lay them down in bed with you. Especially if they're asleep and you don't want to disturb them, you figure why not get an hour of adult time or to just go to the bathroom, eat, and have a few quiet moments.
And although the temptation to snuggle your baby is very, very real, leaving them in your bed can lead to some scary consequences, especially when babies start rolling and flopping all over the place.
Something that the parents of 6-month-old baby Colton discovered had dire consequences.
Paige Ferguson and her husband Blake Linton were at a friend's house when Colton fell asleep. They placed him on a bed that was only two feet off the floor. They created a "barrier" of pillows to prevent him from moving/rolling over. After leaving the room for a few minutes they heard a thud and crying, then suddenly rushed to the room to check on their little guy, who was alert, and even smiled a bit.
But because Ferguson and Linton were (thankfully, in this instance) paranoid parents, they took Colton to the doctor to get the bump on his head checked out. They just wanted their fears allayed and were fully expecting the doctor to tell them that their son was fine and they were just being overly paranoid. Sadly, this wasn't the case.
The doctors gave Colton's parents the news no mother or father would ever want to hear: that he sustained a head injury that kills most babies.
Colton had fractured his skull, which resulted in him bleeding half of his blood volume into his brain. Despite the large team of some 20 doctors and nurses on the floor caring for Colton, Paige couldn't get a definitive answer as to whether or not her baby would be OK.
Colton's situation worsened: the infant bled so much that he had had a heart attack and his MRI scan revealed that he had sustained so much damage to his head that his chances of surviving the injury were slim and even if he did, he'd either live in a dormant state or with a severe brain disability.
Paige was devastated by the news, and shared her story on Facebook to warn other mothers not to do what she did y allowing the baby to sleep on an adult bed.
She encouraged others to share her post and the following message about Colton's struggle:
I have really been contemplating posting this. But, i need Colton to be an advocate. I need people to realize the seriousness of a head injury. This started from him falling from a bed that is only 2ft off the ground. He had a bump on his head. A bump. He was crying, acting alert and at one point even smiled. Because we are paranoid parents, we decided to get him evaluated. We thought for sure they were going to say he hit his head, has a bump, and he will be fine. Not the case...He fractured his skull and bled half of his entire blood volume into his brain. Im going to be blunt here...Colton may not live. Colton may live and never walk or talk, Colton may be fine, Colton may be delayed. Its up in the air right now and he is still fighting for his life because we are not out of the woods. This is a nightmare. I dont want other parents going through this...i dont want any kid to go through this. Please take any hit to the head seriously. I cant say this enough. My heart is broken. Our child is laying in front of us yet we miss him so terribly. I need you to hear me...get your kids checked out! Please. The old tale of "if the bump is outward you're safe." is NOT true.
Please continue to pray for him. I am trying to thank everyone but, because there are so many of you amazing people, its hard. I love and appreciate all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Colton was admitted into the hospital in March. About a month later, Colton finally opened his eyes but he still wasn't out of danger. He suffered seizures that he had to be medicated for, but he was responding to his mother's and father's voice and was no longer in a vegetative state.
Colton was eventually able to come home with his family, where he got to play with his older brother, Brennan.
Colton's brain is still recovering, and doctors informed Paige that he will more than likely have a "hard life," however, it hasn't stopped Paige from sharing all the happy memories they're making with their baby boy.
Colton looks like a smiley, bouncing baby boy, soaking the summer up.
Although Colton may live with a disability all his life, researchers are now learning that several "irrevocable truths" are now being debunked as we learn more about the brain. Not all brain damage is necessarily permanent and with new developments in stem cell research for healing the brain, there could be a future for Colton where the effects of his sad injury could be reversed.