The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

September 3, 2013

Ottumwa boy to have open heart surgery


On Feb. 17, 2012, Jaxson Eugene Dodson was born naturally to Cynthia and her fiancé, Alex Dodson. Jaxson wasn’t breathing, and he was a blue-gray color. Doctors immediately worked to resuscitate him, he was put on a ventilator and he was taken to the neonatal intensive care unit.

He spent the next 34 days in the hospital. In addition to the problems they had anticipated, Jaxson had massive seizures, they discovered he is blind, that he would eventually need a kidney transplant and that he has a very abnormal brain. At day seven, Cynthia finally got to hold her baby in her arms. When he was released from the hospital, he was breathing on his own, he didn’t require any monitors and he only needed a couple medications for his heart.

“He is an absolute medical mystery,” Cynthia said.

Numerous surgeries have helped Jaxson continue to improve and grow stronger over the past eighteen months. This week, he will have open heart surgery in Iowa City. Basically, they will take his own tissue and create a fourth chamber for his heart

Cynthia remains amazingly positive through all the ups and downs of raising a special-needs child. She is so thankful that God has allowed her little miracle baby to survive.

“Jaxson will be all right no matter what, he will always know the love of his family, whether it is here or in heaven with God. He’ll be all right, no matter what,” she said. “He is an absolute blessing, he brings everyone a little closer to God, he changes hearts."

Cynthia’s advice to other parents who may be experiencing a similar situation is, “Stay positive, no matter what your baby is going to be okay, don’t worry about the what ifs, just cherish every moment.”

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