The outlook for Deanna Parsons’ son 11 years ago was bleak.
She said a sonogram at 19 weeks pregnant showed a hole in her son’s spine. The hole was located at the L4-L5 level in the spine and was diagnosed as spinea bifida.
Spinea bifida, or translated into split spine, occurs when a baby’s spinal column does not completely close while in the womb.
Deanna said the doctor told her half of the people in her situation get an abortion and told her, “if you want to terminate, we support you.”
“We went home and cried our eyes out,” she said.
She said the doctors told her the issue was “very problematic” and refused to make any guesses on her son’s ability moving forward. Doctors said her son had a 50 percent chance of walking.
Braden Parsons, now 11 years old, is under daily care by his mother. He wears a shunt on his head that helps release pressure around his brain and skull.
Deanna Parsons said any injury to his head is serious as he has undergone three brain surgeries and numerous spinal surgeries.
Braden had brain surgery at nine-years-old when his shunt came apart.
However, with the help of the Kidd’s Kids Foundation, Deanna watched as Braden visited, and walked, his way into Walt Disney World.
“I just couldn’t wait for him to go and not worry about anything,” Deanna Parsons said.
Caroline Craddick and the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show embarked on their 20th trip to Disney World Nov. 20. The 2014 trip had the largest group of Kidd’s Kids in the charity’s history.
The show brought 60 terminally and chronically ill and physically challenged children to Orlando in November.
The Kidd’s Kids Foundation was founded in 1991 by morning show host Kidd Kraddick. Kidd Kraddick passed away suddenly in July of 2013. He was 53.
Deanna Parsons said she learned of the foundation through a friend whose son went last year, who also nominated her son for the 2014 event.
Three months past before the selections were announced and she told her son that she wasn’t sure if they were going to be picked. Shortly after, though, Shannon Murphy from Kidd Kraddick in the Morning called and asked to come by the house.
After a few questions she asked Braden, “do you want to go to Disney World?”
“He was just shocked… I wasn’t even sure he fully grasped what they were saying,” Deanna said of her son’s reaction.
She said traveling with her son has always brought fear, because not all hospitals have neurosurgeons and care for her son.
“You’re kind of always on guard, so for me going to Disney World without a doctor would have been terrifying,” she said.
Along with Braden and Deanna was a nurse who was available for them if they needed him.
She said the doctors gave her son the green light to enjoy all of what Disney World had to offer, which included riding his first roller coaster.
“I think I enjoyed it more than he did,” Deanna said of the experience.
This was also the first vacation her and her son took together. Deanna said she home schools her son and there is usually someone else with them when they are in public.
“There was no body else there. Just us,” she said.
Deanna said the trip was also a humbling experience, as she watched many children battle with chemotherapy, noting how lucky her and her son really are that his ailment is just physical.
“You see these people and feel so lucky,” she said. “I think we always feel lucky because our kid is brilliant.”
Deanna said the cast members and the park treated her son, and the other children on the trip, with care and “rolled out the red carpet.”
“It was a trip of a lifetime, for sure,” she said.