Daxton Gabbard, a very courageous 3-year-old has been battling epilepsy nearly every day for the past year. He was diagnosed with Frontal Lobe Epilepsy in September of 2014, and has since been a patient of Cincinatti’s Children Hospital. The seizures are partial simple seizures that stem from the center of his brain, making them a very complex kind of seizure, despite their name.
His parents, Hazard natives Kelly and Chace Gabbard explain, “It’s been very difficult, but leaning on Jesus has been my most beautiful ally. That, and having so many amazing people reach out and show true love and support. It’s been unreal! I also realize that it could be much worse. Being at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital so often and seeing the many sick children there has opened my eyes to how blessed we truly are. It doesn’t make things any easier at the time, but it definitely makes things easier to swallow.”
Wednesday, Daxton traveled to the Cincinatti Children’s Hospital where he underwent his very first surgery. He had a Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS) inserted. Similar to a pace maker, the VNS sends pulses of electricity to the vagus nerve in the neck. The stimulator was implanted in his chest, and a wire runs from his chest to the nerve. The stimulator is adjustable, and will be gradually increased with time. Should the VNS not be a successful solution, a more evasive testing for epilepsy surgery, which is performed in the brain, would be considered.
On the day of his surgery, an out-poor of community love was shown on social media. People of all ages, and from many different states sported purple to raise epilepsy awareness. Over 1,000 posts with the hashtag #DaxtonStrong were published in support of this brave young boy.
Kelly describes his personality as “rambunctious,” he loves trucks, trains, dinosaurs and anything with a ball; but, most of all, he loves to dance. “His current obsession is House Party by Sam Hunt,” she says, “He is always making people laugh. Everyone is truly just drawn to him! I’d like to think he gets that from my dad and brother.”
Daxton has already had more than 10 hospital stays since diagnosis, and the family frequents Cincinnati for treatment. They are selling epilepsy awareness T-shirts, where the proceeds go directly to aiding in Daxton’s very expensive journey. To order, you can contact Kelly at email@example.com; the shirts are $15.
Erin Joseph can be reached at 606-436-5771 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.