Miracle baby turns six - Doctors thought he would be lucky to get to age three
Lashaun Rowe has one simple wish for his birthday, which is this Saturday -- a tablet computer. He wants the device so he can watch cartoons with his imaginary friend, Omario.
Lashaun turning six is a huge deal for his mother, Shanice Rowe, who was told by doctors that he could be dead by age three. The little boy suffers from Walker-Warburg Syndrome, a rare multisystem disorder characterised by muscle, brain and eye abnormalities. Children born with the condition display varying degrees of intellectual disability and often have seizures.
Lashaun was one year old when he was diagnosed.
The Central Village, St Catherine mother said she was devastated when she got the news, but kept her fingers crossed and kept praying that he would prove the doctors wrong.
Defying the ominous prediction, little Lashaun is now enrolled in basic school and although his development stage is somewhat similar to that of his two-year-old brother, Rowe said she is extremely proud.
"Lashaun is a little big man and I am so proud of him. Doctors said he wouldn't live to see his third birthday and he has proven them wrong, twice. He is going to school and he is colouring and doing his work. He likes to play with his toys and with his imaginary friend. Plus, him stubborn plus GCT, whenever he says 'no' he means 'no'," Rowe said between laughter.
She told THE WEEKEND STAR that her son continues to inspire her, in addition to a special friend that she met after she shared her son's story via this newspaper.
"After THE STAR published my story, a lady reached out to me. I have never met her in person but she would send me inspirational quotes daily and that, along with prayer, have kept me going. I really just take things one day at a time and Lashaun has so many different personalities which keeps me going. There are times when he is all bubbly and want to cuddle and tickle, while another time he just wants to be left alone," she said.
Lashaun has been able to feed himself and is even walking and running. He is living a normal life as possible. The doctors are surprised by his progress, especially since he does not have any lenses in his eyes and isn't suppose to see without test glasses, but he is seeing well without them," she said.
As his mother spoke with THE WEEKEND STAR, the cheerful youngster interrupted the interview to say good morning to this reporter, before whooshing off to continue playing with his toy car.
"He is a handful. God has been good to him and we are really happy," Rowe said.
As a result of his illness, Lashaun has had to undergo quite a number of surgeries, and is slated to have one on his eyes this year.
"The lenses were removed from his eyes because he had cataracts on them, so the doctors are going to do a surgery to put them back in. The cost for it is $85,000, but the doctors at university hospital are so familiar with him that they offered to do it free, and I am really thankful," she said.
In 2019, doctors at the Spanish Town Hospital worked feverishly to spare his life after a seizure caused his little heart to stop beating.
Being the fighter he is, Rowe said her son has been overcoming one obstacle after the next and that, she said, has been a blessing.
As he celebrates his birthday tomorrow, Rowe said she is looking forward to attending his high-school graduation in the future and even to him starting his own family.
She stated that although she will not be granting his tablet wish on his birthday, she will be making his day as special as possible.
"I won't be able to purchase it in time for his birthday but I am saving towards it. I already went to look at the tablet and was told it is $18,000, but so far I only have $10,000 in my saving pan so as soon as I reached the desired amount, I am going to grant my little cutie pie his wish. I am going to have a small get-together with about five kids and cut cake and eat ice cream and celebrate Mr Lashaun," she said.