8 Months Old at Diagnosis
When Maxim started tilting his head to one side, his mother, Jessica, grew concerned. When he started arching his back, she took him to the doctor. Their doctor told them that some children do that, and that is can be caused by teething. A few days later, Maxim started throwing his head back and arching his back, so his mom took him back to the doctors, who saw him during an episode and told them that they needed to go to the hospital to have an MRI performed.
Jessica couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Maxim had been a happy and perfect child a few weeks ago, he had hit all his milestones, and they couldn’t believe that something could be wrong with him.
The family ended up in the ER that night because Maxim’s pain had gotten so bad. The hospital performed a CT scan at 1:30am and the family was told that Maxim had a mass on his brain, but because they had performed a CT scan, they couldn’t tell them anything specific about the tumor, only that he had one and that it was the size of a small lemon.
After Maxim was admitted to the hospital, things started getting worse. Maxim coded in Jessica’s arms and almost died a few days after he had surgery to remove his tumor. Luckily, his doctors were able to stabilize him. Maxim later had surgery to insert a shunt and port.
Maxim was in the hospital for 8 weeks and when he was finally able to go home, his shunt became infected after 2 weeks. They were in and out of the hospital due to fever or infection. Every time something happened, even something as small as an ear infection, they had to head to the hospital to make sure it wasn’t something more serious. Maxim underwent 33 radiation treatments and surgery.
Finally, Maxim’s tumor subsided and life returned to normal. The family was easing into their new life, when during a routine scan in February of 2014 doctors found small tumors. Maxim had surgery on April 2nd and doctors found 5 tumors and were able to remove them. Maxim has been cancer free since then.
Now Maxim is working on regaining his strength. Due to his treatment he has less tone on the left side of his body. He has responded so well and impressed everyone including his doctors and nurses. “We have been so thrilled to have people around us who have given us everything we need,” says Jessica. “Maxim is in speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy to make sure that he continues to thrive. I don’t know where we would be without everyone’s help and dedication.”
Jessica considers Maxim to be her miracle child. She loves watching him play with his toys, playing on the iPad and watching anything musical.
Want more stories like this?
Get emails that matter, when it matters.