Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Special Needs Spotlight - Broxton

***Please note that this was NOT written by me.  This is a copy of the eulogy from Broxton's funeral on April 27, 2012.  If you'd like to read about the funeral, you can see my post here.  The following was so beautifully written that I asked Kristi (Broxton's mom) to send me a copy for my special needs spotlight.***

The Taylor family welcomed Broxton Anthony Taylor into the world on December 21st, 2009.  He was immediately welcomed with open arms to a beautiful family and an established protector, best friend, and big brother Brody.  Over the first couple of months, Broxton had his first health scare when he came down with a bad case of RSV at just 6 weeks old, keeping him in the hospital for 10 days.
            After recovering from RSV, Broxton was a typical, happy, jovial little boy constantly smiling and chuckling with those beautiful, chubby cheeks.  With all the typical milestones seemingly coming, Kody and Kristi began noticing changes in Broxton’s motor skills.  Doctors confirmed the changes at his 12 month checkup.  Over the next couple of months, Broxton developed inconsistently which led to his first specialist visit at 15 months.  After countless tests and multiple appointments, on June 23rd, the unimaginable happened as he was diagnosed with infantile NCL, most commonly known as Batten’s Disease.  The next few months is where Broxton’s resiliency and impact; not only on his family, but the entire community, set in.  While his health was diminishing, his following and support group multiplied daily.  With tireless efforts of friends and family, the Rock for Brox Benefit was created and held on July 31st.  The amount of personal and monetary support for Broxton’s cause went far above and beyond what anyone expected.
            Over the next couple of months, Broxton’s nervous system began to severely deteriorate.  Slowly, but surely, he began to have involuntary muscle spasms and lost control over everyday, normal functions.  Doctors prescribed numerous medications and therapies in an effort to stop tremors and maintain his comfort level.  Broxton’s disability to properly absorb nutrients led to his next dramatic treatment, which was placement of a feeding tube on October 14.  At this point, Broxton’s decline was at a point where medicine and treatments strictly focused on minimizing pain and keeping him comfortable.  Later that same month, big brother Brody was getting ready for Halloween.  In perfect 4 year old fashion, he insisted that Broxton be his sidekick and they dressed up as Mario and Luigi, and image that could bring a smile to anyone’s face during such trying times.  As 2011 came to a close, Kody and Kristi prepared for a Christmas they knew could be their last to enjoy with Broxton by their side.  Brody took the reigns by opening up all of his baby brothers’ gifts before opening any of his own.  I challenge you to find another 4 year old who is willing to do that.  Along with many tears and many joyous gatherings, the holidays were over and 2012 was upon us.
            On February 12th, an amazing community event took place as the masses came out to show their support at the Run for Broxton.  The Taylors were expecting around 200 participants and were completely shocked when over 500 people from all over the community showed up.  The news stations and papers were also in attendance.  All of them doing so to show their support for Broxton and his family.  Despite the emotional support of thousands including friends and family, Broxton was in daily hospice care by March.  What seemed to be a daily waiting game became Broxton’s final month and he peacefully left us on April 20th, 2012.

            Broxton is survived by an amazing family unit.  The Gennarios; Tony, Kelsy, and Mr. and Mrs. Gennario, you are all incredible.  The love you have for your nephews, children, and grandchildren is unbelievable.  The Taylors; Jake, Tawnie, KC, words can’t even begin to tell how amazing you guys are.  I am honored and humbled to see two examples of such strong families.
            Broxton’s brother Brody shows the true meaning of unconditional love.  Brody always included his brother in every endeavor to make sure he could participate in one manner or another.
            Broxton’s parents, Kody and Kristi, who have throughout this entire process met each obstacle with grace and unbelievable spirits.  I think I can speak for everyone, when I say how much I admire and respect the both of you.  Broxton’s life, although brief and tragic, has imprinted on the hearts of many people.  And the little boy that never spoke had such an impact on the lives of so many.  Your journey has touched all of our lives and may each and every person appreciate all blessings and to not take anything for granted.

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