Sierra and Dustin Yoda were over the moon when they learned they were pregnant with their second child. Theirs has always been a worldwide romance, yet they weathered the storm and got married shortly after getting hitched. They had their first child, Beau.
The first time Sierra got pregnant, she and Dustin made sure they did everything right, even though first time pregnancies are usually very demanding. Now that Sierra was pregnant with a second child, they were already armed with all the information, supplements experience needed for this pregnancy.
They were certain it was going to be a smooth and perfect journey, but it was nothing short of an emotional roller coaster. Sierra and Dustin weren’t people who like surprises, so they couldn’t wait to find out the gender of the baby. I want a girl I can play dress up with and who will be a mini-me, Sierra would say, and Dustin would reply My sons and I would dominate the Little League teams.
Weeks later, they went in for an ultrasound scan to get a gender reveal. Unfortunately, they would get to learn something far from any beautiful ideas they had been thinking up in their heads. Halfway through the scan, the doctor’s expression became one of worry, and this made Sierra and Dustin panic. The doctors then told them they’d be having a boy and quickly urged them to see the neurosurgeon in the next room. Upon hearing this, Sierra’s heart leaped into her throat and Dustin quickly placed his arms around her.
Although he was scared of his Wits, he thought it was best not to show it. Why do we need to see a neurosurgeon? Sierra asked no one in particular, and Dustin was too deep in his thoughts to even hear her. Upon getting to the office, they barely had their seat when the doctor said something was wrong with the unborn baby right there. He diagnosed the child with encephalocele, a Sackel-like protrusion or projection of the brain and the membranes that cover it through an opening in the skull.
As much as the doctor tried to explain what it meant, Sierra just kept staring at him. She had done everything right, taken her supplements, and exercised. So why did this have to happen to her? She streaked and Dustin, who was sitting beside her, was too numb to comfort her. But even this diagnosis wasn’t the most frightening part, and the doctor was just about to get to that.
With the parents staring deep into his eyes. The doctor told them that the boy wouldn’t live, and he suggested termination. After a little back and forth, Sierra and Dustin agreed. However, on the scheduled date of the abortion, Sierra and Dustin felt differently, and they halted the abortion plans that morning.
We couldn’t even look into each other’s eyes. And that’s when we knew we were going the wrong path. We decided to give our boy a chance. We wanted to meet him, and love him for as long as he lived. We didn’t even care if it was a few seconds, Sierra explained, so they called in to cancel the abortion.
Afterward, they spent the remaining period of the pregnancy preparing to say goodbye to their beloved baby. Then, on Halloween night, while the family was getting dressed in their costumes, Sierra’s water broke. She quickly told Dustin about it, and the family rushed to the hospital. Dustin also placed a call to close family members to tell them that Sierra was in labor and they needed to rush to the hospital as soon as they could. We wanted everyone to be present when he was leaving.
We wanted to show them that there are so many people who loved him, Dustin said. That day, the family took them a onesie matching pants, and a pair of socks. This was the outfit they planned to bury their son in. Neither of them had prepared for what was about to happen. A few minutes after Sierra was taken into the operating room, she delivered their son, Bentley Ross Yoder.
Tears filled the family’s eyes as soon as they saw him. He was such a cute boy and they couldn’t imagine he wouldn’t be with them anymore soon, so they held him in their hands and couldn’t stop looking at him. Everyone was so sure the boy was living his last hour. The tension in the room was palpable. However, they were expecting the child to be quiet and dull.
Bentley’s behavior was shocking. He was very active and cried out loud like every other newborn. Beau was also allowed to hold her brother. The little girl, who didn’t understand her brother could pass away at any time, said, can we go home with my baby brother? Let’s get him some McDonald’s chicken.
He is so hungry and wouldn’t stop crying. Bo’s childlike words hurt everyone in the room, but in the next few minutes, everyone began to see through her optimism. What was happening wasn’t exactly what they had all prepared for. Bentley kept on breathing and crying. Would he stop the next minute or the one after that?
Each of them thought. As hours passed, family members took turns to say sweet parting words to the boy. But even after 36 hours, the only thing they could see happening was that Bentley seemed fine. Neither of them knew what to do as they were prepared for a funeral. Yet they couldn’t help but feel a jolt of hope when the little boy continued breathing.
After so many hours, the doctors arranged for him to be taken home with his family and he was placed in Hospice care. On getting home, Dustin and Sierra held onto their little Ray of hope, praying that this wouldn’t be a cruel trick from the universe. Months later, Bentley continued to thrive. He was crying, playing, eating, and performing all cognitive functions like any regular child. At this point, his parents were more than ready to do anything to give him a better life, so they look for solutions to the protrusion outside of his head.
After thorough research, they ended up at Boston’s Children’s Hospital. Here, they were told there could be a way to expand Bentley’s skull and fit the brain into it. This was the best solution they had received ever since, and they were willing to try anything to save their little boy. Plans and research were carried out and soon a date was chosen for the surgery. But would things go as the doctors had planned?
We were so anxious. Right from the research up to the date of the surgery, different thoughts went through our heads, but one thing we knew was that our boy was a fighter. He had conquered all odds and that gave us hope. Bentley was our strength, Dustin said. As the doctors operated on the boy, family members gathered around the waiting room.
They all held hands and prayed the boy would make it. The surgery required fluid to be drained from Bentley’s head so surgeons could move the brain back inside his head. Afterward. The leftover bones were then used to close the gap and reform the skull. Fortunately, everyone’s effort didn’t go to waste.
5 hours later, the chief surgeon came out and informed the family the surgery was a success. The family was elated, but they were also anxious because the doctors had warned them there could be complications. But there was nothing to worry about. Hours after the surgery, little Bentley woke up and he stared at every one of them. He had so much life in his bright, beautiful eyes.
He looked fine like nothing had just happened. He just laid there staring at us as if to say, Why are you all staring at me? It was such a beautiful view, Sierra said, laughing. After a few weeks, Bentley was discharged and he went home with his family. They returned to the hospital a few times for checkups and treatment.
Several months have now passed and Bentley, who is not so little anymore, is doing just fine. The boy continues to recover at an amazing rate. Although his parents know he might experience some health challenges as he grows, they are hopeful of his future and are taking things one step at a time. Their greatest motivator is that Bentley fought for his life right from the womb, and they are certain he will keep on fighting. He gave hope to his family even when they were at their lowest.
So everyone is giving him all the support and love he needs, believing things will get better. As for Sierra, she keeps saying, we are just so grateful we took a chance on him. He is just so sweet and sometimes I even cry thinking I could have missed out on all of this. Everyone who sees him loves him? When was the last time?
You were in a hopeless situation? And how did you handle it?
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