UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (KMOV.com) - A St. Louis-area boy who was given two weeks to live is doing what doctors thought might be impossible.
Gavin Porter was born at 24 weeks, weighing one pound, 8 ounces. He was considered a micro-preemie. The day he was born, he suffered a grade 4 stroke.
Doctors told his parents he'd likely only live two weeks. If he made it, doctors told Gavin's mom, Mia, he may never be able to walk, talk, breathe, hear, or see.
“It’s in nobody’s birth plan to have be at the children’s hospital in the NICU," said Gavin's mom, Mia Malcolm. “Those 14 days were the longest two weeks of my life.”
Gavin made it through the two weeks and ended up spending nine months in the NICU at St Louis Children's Hospital.
Now, nearly 10 years later, Gavin continues to overcome incredible odds. He can walk and talk. He even broke his arm recently playing with his friends.
“I was so strangely excited about it because it was just a normal 10-year-old boy thing to do," said Mia. “He can do just kid things and I don’t have to be terrified all the time.”
Tuesday, Gavin attended his first day at Flynn Park Elementary as a fourth grader.
“He was excited to see his friends and they were excited to see him," said Mia.
Gavin still has speech therapy and occupational therapy every other week, and physical therapy every week at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Chris Hessler, a NICU manager at St. Louis Children's Hospital, was there almost 10 years ago when Gavin was in the NICU.
"The relationships that we form, it’s why we do it day in and day out. It makes those days that are rough worth it," said Hessler.
Mia wanted to pay it forward for all the help she received over the years. She now volunteers for the hospital's Family Partner Program as a NICU mentor, helping other families like hers who are navigating this tough journey.