Brady O’Connell was born March 13th 2009 and he immediately brought us tremendous joy and excitement! Our world dramatically changed the following morning when the neonatal doctor visited us to say they recommended transporting Brady to a level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit because of some swelling in his belly. He was diagnosed with malrotation of the bowel within 12 hours of birth and was scheduled for surgery to correct the problem.
Brady was born on a Friday night and went into surgery at 8:00AM Sunday for a routine procedure that would have him feeling better soon. During surgery we waited with anticipation in the waiting room to see Brady and to help him get better. However, our world was turned upside down a short while later when a couple of doctors emerged with the news that Brady’s intestines were so severely blocked with meconium ileus the surgeon was convinced Brady had Cystic Fibrosis. From that point on, we were determined to focus on being strong for Brady so he could have a speedy recovery from surgery and begin the fight against CF. Brady came out of surgery with an ostomy bag and a scar from rib cage to rib cage, which would have to be used again when his bowels were cleared and healed from the extensive surgery so they could put his intestines back together. He came through like a champ and taught us what it’s like to persevere and fight for your life! And since I cannot seem to erase the memories of Brady’s recovery from surgery, I choose to use the memories as inspiration to never, ever give up!
The CF Foundation was there for our family from the day Brady was born and they continue to provide the support and resources necessary for us to appropriately manage the disease. Brady meets monthly with a team of doctors to monitor his lung function, diet and nutrition to manage his health. From a day-to-day basis Brady takes many enzyme supplements, does breathing treatments 2-3 times, gets a supplemental feed overnight in a feeding tube, and takes several pills and vitamins to keep him strong and healthy.
Brady has participated in several clinical trials over the years, but we are most excited about his most recent trial for a prospective new drug. We are proud of Brady and excited to learn the results of the trial. The progress of the drug development pipeline is accelerating quickly and we are extremely grateful for our amazing friends and family who have helped raise money to fund the drug development pipeline – THANK YOU!
Team O’Connell has been established to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. We are determined to beat CF and through your generous donation, more money and resources can be spent to make CF stand for Cure Found.
Kicking CF’s Butt
Brady has had more than 15 hospital stays in his lifetime, each stay consisting of at least 1 week in the hospital and 1 week of IVs at home. Brady is on a hot streak now…2 years without a tune-up!
During a clinic visit Brady completes a rigorous breathing test to check his lung health, throat culture to test for bacteria, and blood tests to check his vitamin levels. Each clinic takes approx 2 hours for Brady to meet with his team of doctors.
Quinn is the big little brother to Brady and he is always helping Brady to remember to take his pills, finish his treatments, and to take good care of himself so Brady can stay healthy!