UTICA, Ky. (WEHT)- A Western Kentucky family is reminded every day, life is precious. Especially after one member wasn’t expected to survive long after birth. The west family believes their son and brother is a miracle after defying the odds for 17 years.
“Knowing that I almost passed away. Next thing I know God had other plans for me,” Braden West says.
A plan that included 17 more years of life than originally thought and a faith in God that would carry him and his family through trials and tribulations.
“What’s getting me through this is God,” Braden explains.
At birth, Cheri West was told her baby boy wasn’t going to live for more than 18 months. Braden was diagnosed with Pfieffer Syndrome Type Two at birth. A disorder that affects the shape of the face and skull.
“Probably the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do was pray non-selfishly and just pray ‘God if it’s meant for him to go with you, take him. Don’t let him suffer’,” Cheri West says.
On the day he was born Cheri says she got to see her son for only a split second before they took him away for treatment, “it was close to 24 hours before I got to see him.”
Now, years later, the mother and son sitting side by side to share their story. A journey for the entire family. All built around their faith.
“I guess I didn’t really think about the 18 months because at that time every day was a blessing that we had with him and we knew that,” Cheri says.
Braden beat the original prognosis. But there were still difficulties in the first few years of Braden’s life. Including surgeries and therapies. He didn’t speak until he was eight years old.
“I remember walking up to my mom and dad, and my mom and dad were talking,” Braden shares. “Next thing you know I just said mama and they were just looking at each other like what and then next thing you know I said it again.”
“And I just went to my knees. I just went to my knees I was like to hear his voice,” Cheri explains.
Now, as a senior in high school with aspirations of helping people for the rest of his life. Cheri says she believes she’s the lucky one to be Braden’s mom, “thankful, thankful. I’m just thankful.”
Braden has high hopes of graduating from Apollo High School next year.
(This story was originally published on Sept. 10, 2020)