One in a billion

"One in a billion" Continued...

Issue: "The wonder of life," Jan. 25, 2014

Christian is advancing beyond what doctors predicted. Lacey recently posted a video of his neatly trimmed chestnut hair hovering over piano keys as miniature fingers hit the beginning notes of Beethoven’s “Für Elise.” He relies on the feel and memory of the keys—and one month of piano lessons. Lacey calls him their “little over achiever.” He enjoys finger paints, swimming, and bedtime stories. Last fall, he began walking, long before many blind children. Chris is making him a cane out of PVC pipes that resembles a push toy to keep him from crashing into Chandler’s baby equipment. Christian still uses a feeding tube, but a successful November surgery moves him one step closer to a repaired palate that will enable him to eat normally when he is older. 

Lacey uses the feeding tube with Christian.
Perry Reichanadter/Genesis
Lacey uses the feeding tube with Christian.
Chandler and Christian.
Chandler and Christian.
VIDEO CONVERTER: A still from Lacey’s video
VIDEO CONVERTER: A still from Lacey’s video

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The Buchanans have sometimes sparred with doctors and insurance companies over Christian’s care. They recently moved to an out-of-state provider after their doctor recommended an eight-hour neurosurgery for cosmetic reasons—to level Christian’s left eyebrow with his right. The Buchanans sought a second and third opinion, and other doctors said the surgery was not worth putting Christian’s life in jeopardy. 

“After everything we’ve been through, we have a lot more compassion for families who deal with disabilities. It’s something you can’t fully understand until you’ve been through it,” Chris said. Lacey is currently taking night classes to earn her law degree, a lifelong dream with new meaning: She hopes to provide counsel and support for parents of children with disabilities. 

Now, instead of shying away from strangers, the Buchanans enjoy introducing Christian. They still get critical looks and questions such as “Will he be able to go to school?” The Buchanans plan to enroll Christian in a special education program next fall. “God has a plan for Christian,” Lacey said. “His defects do not diminish the value of his life.”

Mary Jackson
Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson is a writer who lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and three young children.


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