Parents Andrew Kuhn and Katie Faulkner were surprised and excited when they found out that they would be having twins, but they never expected the complications that would arise once their sons were born.
On the day the boys officially joined the family via cesarean section, their parents got a scary surprise when doctors took one of them, Jackson, aside immediately after he was born.
Kuhn told WPMT Fox43:
"I saw that they were examining one of the babies they had the other one and took him away and a bunch of doctors were surrounding [him]."
The boys' mother was still muddled from the surgery, so he kept the observation to himself and tried to remain calm and wait for the doctors to approach him.
"I was just like something doesn't seem right something doesn't feel right."
And approach him they did, a few minutes later, with news that would affect little Jackson and his family for the rest of their lives.
Jamison was healthy, but his brother Jackson was born with a condition called "imperforate anus." Instead of having an opening at the end of his digestive tract, the anus, his rectum had only partially formed and was still covered over with skin.
According to the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD), imperforate anus and other similar defects of the anus and rectum affect 1 in 4000-5000 babies born in the United States.
Since proper digestion and bowel emptying are so vital to human health, this wasn't a condition that could be left alone. Jackson was transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital within 24 hours after he was born.
This was just the start of the fight for Jackson and his family. After spending 5 months at Johns Hopkins, they were informed that their insurance wasn't accepted and Jackson had to be transferred to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
This meant that Jackson was 2 hours away from his family's home in Windsor Township, Pennsylvania, and added to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills now owed by the family.
Jackson and Jamison's mother, Katie Faulkner, told WPMT Fox43:
"We still have to pay for our house and our other bills too we're trying to catch up, we're struggling a bit."
Andrew Kuhn, the boys' father, talked about the stress of the situation:
"You feel depressed and stressed out every day you're thinking what's going to happen next and what bill is going to come in the mail next."
Jackson is now home with his family after spending the first 8 months of his life in the hospital, and his parents are euphoric.
"Just seeing his smiling face every day home with us beats any bill."
This doesn't make the bills go away, though, and Jackson still requires significant ongoing medical care.
"He has a colostomy right now where his stool drains into and he also has a central line where he gets all of his nutrients from and he alohas a G-tube where he gets formula."
Kuhn has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with Jackson's medical bills.
From the GoFundMe page, #Prayers4Jackson:
"He's a strong boy already and is going to put up a strong fight. Thank you all for your love and support."
Many were quick to point out that the health insurance system failed Jackson and his family.
Mary Christianson Oscarson/Facebook
Others just wanted to wish the family love and blessings.
The first few months of Jackson's life certainly haven't been easy, but he's now doing well enough to be home with his loving family. With the feeling of euphoria his parents get from having him at home at last, they are ready to face whatever comes next—together.
If you want to help Jackson and his family, the GoFundMe page for Jackson's existing medical bills and continuing care can be found here: #Prayers4Jackson.
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