Gavin Briar couldn't wait to meet his mother, Jamie, seven years ago. Arriving five weeks and four days early, Gavin was extremely premature and spent his first 15 days in the NICU, battling respiratory failure. In these first, scary moments, Gavin's family learned the strength and determination in his personality.
"Being in the medical field and a pediatric nurse for seven years, I was aware of what to expect, but it is very different when your own child is the one that is ill," said Jamie. "We are so blessed that Gavin was able to come home with us after his birth and scary NICU stay."
Gavin was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism at 4-days-old. As he's grown, Gavin has learned what symptoms are associated with his condition, telling his mom when he can't breathe well or when he can feel pressure in his chest. He still says, "My tummy hurts," which means his chest is tight.
"He never fights me on his labs, treatments and medications because he knows how important all of those are," said Jamie. "Gavin knows what needs to be done, yet remains the sweetest, kindest and most caring boy I know, and he loves all of his doctors, nurses and staff he has met through the years He's really built a lifetime of friendships at Blank Children's Hospital."
Gavin doesn't let his care schedule slow him down. He embraced sports at an early age, playing baseball at just 3-years-old, and now, he's active in basketball and soccer as well. A couple years ago, Gavin also started swimming lessons, which have greatly increased the amount of time he's able to hold his breath. Gavin is interested in hockey and football, too, but Jamie is ok with those being practiced only at home.
"I cherish every moment and memory with Gavin," said Jamie. "This little boy of mine has changed all of our lives in such great ways!"