Austin was hospitalized five more times before he turned nine months old. He had several respiratory infections, included pneumonia, RSV, and Pseudomonas. Not only did this disease turn our lives upside down financially and emotionally, it also put us in a position where daycare was not an option anymore. A job I had with Bobcat for 17 years suddenly turned into a memory. I quit and became a stay at home mom with a long list of daily chores to care for our new child. Austin was so sick during that first year that we spent a minimum of two days a week traveling to Fargo for doctor appointments. He now goes to the University of Minnesota Cystic Fibrosis Center in Minneapolis.
Austin has a brother, Jarrett who is 14, a sister, Makayla who is 12, and no family pets. One by one, as Austin continued to get sick, we were forced to get rid of our family dog and cats. Austin’s dad, Greg, has a very big family and we are very surprised that we have not found any of them with CF or even symptoms. We did learn that on my side, my dad’s second cousin had several children with CF and many of them died as children. Two are still living and have CF.
Austin has continued to struggle with respiratory illnesses and gaining weight throughout his life, which have resulted in many more hospitalizations. His weight issue just recently became too severe and in June was put on a feeding tube to help supplement his nutrition. This was a difficult decision to make but it has proven to be the best thing for him. He has gained weight, became even more energetic (which I did not think was possible), and it has helped him transition into a thriving Kindergartener. He loves learning new things and spending time with his friends.