All About Aundon

After suffering the loss of their beautiful baby girl, Jolie, they were elated to find out they were pregnant with twin boys. For the first 19 weeks of development, the pregnancy was deemed high risk but every precaution was being made. Things were progressing and the parents were preparing for their arrival. They even had their names ready: Aundon and Romalis.
At the 20-week mark AnGele started to go into preterm labor and on doctor’s orders checked herself into the hospital. Over the course of the new few weeks, the doctors urged AnGele and Brandon to attempt risky procedures, even suggesting to abort the smaller twin (Aundon) to save the bigger and stronger one (Romalis). But AnGele and Brandon were determined to keep both twins and did everything they could to ensure their safety, from being in constant discussions with doctors to having AnGele in “The Trendelenburg Position” with elevated feet for weeks to relieve any pressure on the uterus. Two weeks later, Aundon and Romalis made their early arrival into this world.
At 23 Weeks and 3 days, Aundon and Romalis were “micro-preemies”, weighing in at 1 lb 3 oz and 1 lb 5oz respectively. They were both immediately sent to the NICO to be monitored and treated. Nothing was going according to plan for Aundon, Romalis or their parents. Originally, Romalis was expected to be the healthier and stronger of the two as he was the bigger one. Unexpectedly, he cotnracted an infoection and passed away from sepsis two and a half weeks later.
As the surviving twin, Aundon spent 6 months in the hospital with a laundry list of medical challenges and over 9 surgeries. His family was constantly commuting back and forth to the hospital, taking shifts with other family members to watch over him and having multiple conversations with doctors, chaplains and agenccies to figure out what to do next. The primary focus for Aundon’s parents was to make sure that every possible action was taken to keep their little boy alive and well.

What would you do if it was your child?

 

Aundon’s father asked this simple but powerful question anytime Aundon’s doctors floated with possible treatment options. Not only did it help his parents make important decisions concering their son’s health, but it opened up the communication between themselves and his doctors. As a result, powerful and amazing alliances were built from these conversations.

 

While still in the hospital Aundon was growing and getting bigger, he was still on oxygen. At four months old, he started to develop what are known as dying spells. Every time he experienced a dying spell , his oxygen levels dropped and he would stop breathing until a medical professional resucitated him. Initially, Aundon’s doctors wanted to send him home with the idea that his parents could resuscitate him themselves with a medical pump

 

Uneasy with this idea, Aundon’s parents put their foot down.

They went back and forth with the doctors, extremely uncomfortable with the idea of bringing their fragile baby home without a medical team nearby. A few phone calls later, they were able to have the right conversations to keep Aundon in the hospital and get him the test he needed to uncover the root cause of his dying spells. According to the test results, Aundon had something pulsating around his trachea. He was then moved to Children’s Hospital. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that one of the ventricles of his heart was wrapped around his trachea.

Two weeks later, on his mother’s birthday (September 29th), he underwent what is called an Aortopexy, a procedure where they lifted his aorta and attached it to the sternum wall. Because he has Poland Syndrome that rendered him without a left major pectoral muscle, they attached it to his rib instead. As only one of a dozen babies in the U.S. to receive this particular procedure, his experience has been documented in a medical journal.

Within three weeks, Aundon was a brand new baby. He no longer needed to be on oxygen and his parents were able to bring him home. He has not been back to the hospital since.

Aundon is now 13 years old and his journey is far from over. He believes in himself fully, loves hugs and sees the world through the lens of a pure and innocent spirit. His family does not see his autism or his other medical challenges as a reason to place him in a bubble. Instead, they look at him and see only hope and possibilities. He inspires every one he comes in contact with.

As he gets bigger, the world can be less gracious but we will continue to learn more lessons, we will continue to share these experiences with you in the hopes of helping you along your journey with your little ones.

Remember this: we as human beings are miracles in our own rights. We are resilient and have the power to create our own roads to joy and happiness. Let’s remember to inspire each other whenever and wherever we can.

We tell this story in loving memory of Jolie and Romalis Cade that embody the love we have lost along the way. You are always with us and we will always love you.

Meet Aundon