MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Le Bonheur patient that captured the hearts of many has a long road to recovery.
Sixteen-month-old Payton Stanley had the left side of his brain removed in January. The surgery was intended to stop the seizures Payton was suffering from daily.
Immediately after the surgery, his family was astonished by their miracle.
"We've had a miracle here," Payton's father, Robert Stanley sighed the next day. Stanley said Payton was able to move the right side of his body, which was a relief to him and his wife. They feared the surgery would leave Payton paralyzed on that side of his body.
Stanley and his wife hoped the hemispherectomy would stop Payton's seizures, as several MRI scans and other tests proved that the majority of Payton's episodes were originating in the left side of his brain.
However, Stanley said Payton has had four seizures since the surgery. They are now originating in the right side of his brain.
"There was a small, tiny chance that would happen," Stanley explained.
Payton was supposed to undergo a tracheotomy just a few days after his surgery, but doctors decided to postpone the second procedure to see how Payton would do without a ventilator. They're doing tests to determine if Payton is able to breathe normally without choking on his saliva.
Stanley said Payton's doctors are still trying to figure out what their next step will be. He said they will run more tests Monday to see where they stand and what could be done to combat Payton's seizures.
"It's absolutely scary and heartbreaking," Stanley said.
Still, Stanley said there is a positive side to the story. Payton is able to move the entire right side of his body, something doctors said he wouldn't be able to do for months. He was able to lift his arm and close his fist in a just a week.
"We didn't believe anybody until my wife and I witnessed it ourselves," Stanley added.
Stanley said Le Bonheur takes care of them while they're in Memphis, and he goes home to Oklahoma weekly to bring new clothes for him and his wife.
The family has a GoFundMe page where people can donate to help pay for Payton's bills, but Stanley asked for those wishing to help to contribute in a different way.
Because Stanley's goal in spreading Payton's story is to raise awareness about the severity of epilepsy, he and his wife designed shirts to benefit Payton's cause. The front of the shirt features a purple ribbon for epilepsy awareness, the phrase "Prayers for Payton" and either the hashtag #TeamPayton or #StanleyStrong inside the ribbon. The back of the shirt features a verse from the Bible, "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you" (2 Kings 20:5).
All of the proceeds from each shirt sale will go directly to Payton's family to help them pay their medical bills and travel expenses.
Stanley is asking everyone who buys a shirt to wear it on March 26, National Epilepsy Awareness Day.
To donate to Payton's GoFundMe, click here.
To follow Payton's updates on Facebook, click here.