Boy battles brain tumor, congenital heart disease
To say the Jones family has had their share of devastation would be an understatement.
Dylan Jones was born with tetralogy of Fallot, a problem with the heart’s structure that changes the normal flow of blood through the heart. Eight years later, he was diagnosed with cancer.
In December 2013, Dylan became unresponsive at school in Illinois. He regained consciousness within a minute and was talking by the time school staff called his mother, Elizabeth Jones. He seemed OK, but everyone agreed that he needed to be seen by a doctor, so his mom drove him to a nearby emergency room.
Calm quickly turned into fear.
“It wasn’t until we got to the emergency room and they did a CT scan that it was all a shock to us,” Elizabeth said.
Dylan had a medulloblastoma, a fast-growing, high-grade brain tumor. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor, leaving him wheelchair bound and legally blind. After surgery, he was taken by air transport to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota to continue care close to extended family.
He underwent six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. In April, he started another round of chemo that’s scheduled to end this month.
Dylan’s case is unique, and he requires a lot of attention when he’s hospitalized, Elizabeth said. But the nurses don’t mind. He’s such a charmer that they “fight” over him, she said.
“I can’t ask for better doctors. I can’t ask for better staff,” Elizabeth said.
Since starting chemotherapy, the hospital has become like a second home. The past four months have felt like the longest of Elizabeth’s life, she said.
Between his brain tumor and congenital heart disease, Dylan has suffered a lot in his short life.
“If I could take his place, I would. We fight, though. He’s a fighter,” Elizabeth said. “For all he has been through, he still continues to put a smile on his face, no matter what.”