PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WTXF) - For the McGuigan family, 2017 has been a rollercoaster year.
On February 16, the McGuigans welcomed a baby boy to the world — Jaxson — who was born with a congenital heart defect.
At five months old, Jaxson underwent his first open heart surgery. Jaxson’s mother Stephanie tells FOX 29 that she expects at least one more in the near future.
For the first eight months of Jaxson’s life, Stephanie cared for him at home.
Stephanie cared for Jaxson at home for the first eight months of his life. At that point, she decided to enroll him in a medical day care, enabling her to return to work and keep her family above water.
“Sending him to medical daycare was one of the hardest things I have done,” Stephanie tells FOX 29.
Jaxson’s heart condition and decreased oxygen levels eventually paved the way to torticollis — also called twisted neck or wryneck — which causes him to hold his head titled to one side. The condition makes it difficult for Jaxson, and others with the condition, to turn the head as a result of tight neck muscles.
Jaxson also developed plagiocephaly. “Flat head syndrome,” to which it is sometimes referred, occurs when an infant’s skull becomes flattened in one area due to repeated pressure on one part of the head.
To treat his plagiocephaly, Jaxson currently wears a custom cranial helmet that will help redirect his natural head growth into an ordinary head shape.
That’s when Jaxson’s father got creative, decorating his son’s helmet to resemble those worn by the Philadelphia Eagles.
The number on the helmet? Eleven, a tribute to star quarterback Carson Wentz.
“It may seem silly but, being huge Eagles fans [and] the Eagles doing so well, this year has been the most uplifting thing for our family,” Stephanie tells FOX 29. “Our 5-year-old cheers for him every game and calls Jaxson, Jaxson Wentz!”
“We would love it if Carson Wentz knew that our miracle baby is wearing his number,” she says.