Hank was born in 2015. The (facebook) world was waiting as family and friends literally across the globe watched for the first picture. His birth was uneventful. Great APGARs and no problems. Our real story starts in August of 2015. Hank had failed his newborn hearing tests and his Audiology referrals had failed too. We had an ABR done and determined that Hank had total hearing loss in his left ear. She was really concerned because he had a small head and we had no family history of hearing loss.
In September 2015, we met with a geneticist. She performed various tests in office and we spent a long time talking. Hank had some things she didn't like going on and agreed thay his head was too small. We had an ultrasound, MRI, and bloodwork to do and we would come back in a month. On October 21, 2015 we got our diagnosis. The TORCH panel came back clean, except for 1. The Cytomegalovirus panel was positive and it appeared that Hank was still shedding the virus. His MRI was not normal. She said there was a malformation of his brain development and the condition was called Polymicrogyria. Because his covers most of his brain with very few unaffected lobes, his is Bilateral Polymicrogyria.
All of those things mean this: Hank is a beautiful and smart little man who is living his best life. He loves to swim, ride his bike, watch cartoons, and eat ice cream. 🗨He can't talk so we take non-verbal cues mixed with some photo cards to communicate. 🚶♂️Hank can't sit, stand, or walk unassisted so everything is by the aid of equipment that Hank moves through his world. 🍼Hank does not self feed and cannot chew his food. I make a special blended smoothie and he eats pureed baby food. Hank is developmentally about 6 months old. He is frozen there. We may gain a few skills here and there but no major advancements. Despite all the things Hank cannot, there a million tiny things he can. He makes a difference in so many lives and is such a light to mine. Hank has brought a new purpose to me, advocating for change and inclusion. Changing our world to make room for kids like Hank. Thank you for making it this far. I hope you find hope here. Joy, encouragement, education.
Below is a timeline of HankStrong’s observed symptoms, diagnosed conditions, and treatments and therapies.
Signs & Symptoms
Treatments & Therapies
Hank has grade 3 OSA.
On Occupational Therapy
OT focuses on fine motor skill
On Physical Therapy
PT goals are to strengthen hypotonia & encourage movement.
On Unilateral Hearing Loss
Failed newborn hearing screening in hospital. Confirmation at 3mo appointment via ABR.
On Post-Crichoid vascular malformation
Diagnosed via CT scan following a visit to ENT for snoring. Sent emergency to UF Shands for evaluation.