Taylor proves the doctors wrong

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2007

When Nickolas Taylor was born, doctors told his parents, Terrie and Randal, he would be in and out of hospitals becuase he had a severe case of spina bifida. At two and a half years old, he has only had one hospitalization, a case of pneumonia in May.

Spina bifida is a condition developed during birth where the embryonic neural tube does not close completely, causing an incompletely formed spinal chord. Due to the location of the malformation, the lumbar and sacral nerve functions can become impaired. The lumbar nerves control the muscles in the hip, leg, knee and foot, and help to keep the body erect. The sacral nerves control some of the muscles in the feet, bowel and urinary bladder.

Taking care of Nickolas is a full time job. Terrie stays with him each day, feeding him once an hour because his stomach can&8217;t handle large amounts of food at a time. She also keeps up with his therapy and medications. Her husband Randal, cares for Nickolas at night.

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One of the biggest issues for the Taylors is finding skilled care to assist them with Nickolas&8217;s special needs.

The Taylors have also been told there is an increasing number of children like Nickolas in the area, who are also desperate for care.

In addition to keeping up with treatments for Nickolas, the Taylors must also work to keep their home as germ-free as possible. Sanitation is one of the biggest issues when caring for people with the condition, Terrie said.

The Taylors also have three other children, who spend most of their time living with their grandparents due to the issue of sanitation.

Before Nickolas was born, Terrie worked fulltime at Linden Lumber Company, but she has not been able to work outside of the home since.

Although Nickolas is nonverbal, Terrie said, he has his own way of communicating with others.

One of Nickolas&8217;s favorite things to do is to watch the Sponge Bob Square Pants cartoon.

Nickolas&8217;s favorite toy is a mirror, which he can spend hours looking at, Terrie said.

One of the biggest things the Taylors disagree on is how the doctors determine the prognosis for their son.

For now, Nickolas is proving the odds wrong and doing very well.