The Little Boy who Smiles

August 21, 2013  •  11 Comments

I get to do this job - called being a photographer.  It amazes me sometimes - that something I did as a hobby for years... has turned into my JOB!  In the beginning, I didn't really have a plan - it was fun and it just kept growing and evolving until it was a real thing - a thing I feel blessed to be able to do.  And I want to thank my God for giving me all of these opportunities.  And then sometimes, I think, how can I use this to bless others?  And even bigger than that - how do I use this to let God speak through me and this job, to let others know about Him?  Yep... put on your helmet, things are getting serious ;)  

Well... I think maybe I'm getting a chance now, to let God use all of this to tell one of His stories.  

I guess it's all been in the works over the past several years, to get me to this point where I can share a little more than just pictures.  Getting me to the point where I have a website, and a blog, and an actual audience to share something with.  Getting me to the point where I hear God saying to me 'do something'... and where I actually LISTEN and do it!!  

So, I'm trying to be obedient, and share a story I think I'm supposed to share.  I'm really hoping that I find the right words,  because I'm not really a writer (I end sentences with prepositions all the time - I know you aren't supposed to do that...but I do it anyway).  And I'm hoping for the right words, because this post is special - this one is meant to be told - this one is important.  (not that the rest of my clients aren't important ;)  - I just know this one is supposed to be here for a bigger purpose)

This is a story about a little boy - a little boy who SMILES.  And maybe that doesn't seem all that grand and significant at first, but the thing is... this little boy is kind of a miracle.  He wasn't given much chance of living, let alone showing the world a smile - one of those really belly laughing smiles, one of those that grabs ahold of you and makes you smile back (just wait till you see it!).  A smile that the world didn't think was possible.  Here is a little bit of his amazing story:

Korbyn was born 6 weeks early - delivered via an emergency C-section.  He had stopped moving in the womb.  When he was delivered, he was not breathing and he had already turned blue.  The hospital staff revived him with CPR and he was transferred to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, KY.  Korbyn's grandmother, the first person to arrive at Kosair's, was told that the doctors believed he only had a 10% chance to live.  

Korbyn had a lot working against him right from the start:  very small chance of living, bleeding in his brain (intraventricular hemorrhage - grade 3 on one side, grade 4 on the other - the most serious grades) which resulted in a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy, and a rare kidney disease, Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome.  His prognosis, if he lived, was that he would probably never walk, talk, smile or have controlled muscle movement.  Early and aggressive treatments are key to surviving the kidney disease, and since it was detected early, Korbyn had his kidneys removed (part of the treatment).  He left the hospital and was finally able to go home at 5 1/2 months old.

This kidney condition can lead to death by age 5 and, in many cases, children die within the first year.  "BUT, our God had a different plan", explains Korbyn's Mamaw.

A few of God's plans for Korbyn?   He smiled at 4 months old.  The hospital staff reminded the family that it was probably just uncontrolled movement-involuntary.  But then, as his Mamaw told me:  "he began to smile when talked/sang to within a few weeks of that...and we just knew....".  

This next part is in my own words.. but I think what they 'knew'... was that they were seeing a little miracle right before their eyes.  They were seeing God do some amazing things, and they were getting to be a part of it.  I know that this can't be easy for any of them.  Korbyn has been in and out of the hospital.  He requires very precise and diligent care to keep him as healthy as possible.  But at the same time, they are experiencing, first hand, blessings that are great and big and super amazing.  

And then, he had his 1st birthday this past April - another milestone that might not have been - but it happened.  Korbyn is now 16 months old and he reaches for his bottle, picks it up and feeds himself (yep - he overcame the 'no controlled muscle movement' part, too)!  He is even staring to talk a little (“Da-da”,  "Mom-mom", "Nana", "Bye-bye or baby" & other baby gibberish).  His Mamaw Lisa told me that his development has continued to amaze every health care person that has worked with him.  He is doing just about everything that they said he probably would never do.

There is just something about this little boy and all of the odds that he has overcome.  Something about him just kinda gives me that little touch of God's presence and power and awesomeness. 

Korbyn has been on dialysis since his kidneys were removed, but he is scheduled for a kidney transplant on August 23rd, 2013 - in just 2 days (from the time of this post)!  His daddy was a match and he is giving one of his healthy kidneys to Korbyn.  I know the families of Korbyn and his dad would really appreciate prayers as they are nearing the date of the transplant - so if you are a praying person - send up some love for them.  And also, feel free to leave a comment here on this post to offer up some words of encouragement.  

A few more thoughts from some of Korbyn's family that I just have to share:

From his Mamaw - "Our baby is a miracle and continues to do things that are way beyond everyone’s expectations...but none of this has taken God by surprise.  He continues to bless us with much more that we could ever ask for for our little fighter.  I cannot wait to see what God has in store for Korbyn.  I know it will be great! "

From his Granny - "Here he is beating the odds. I know ALL children  are GOD's gift; however with Korbyn you can see GOD. Korbyn will do GREAT things..."

I'm also excited to see what is in store for this little guy.  And, I'm hoping this story is here to encourage... to inspire... to give hope to someone who needs it.  And maybe it's here.. just to make you smile.  

Meet Korbyn... and his amazing smile...

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8/27/13 - UPDATE on the kidney transplant - Korbyn and his dad are doing GREAT!!  From the reports I am hearing - Korbyn is exceeding expectations - kidney is working remarkably!! 


Korbyn's Granny(non-registered)
This blog about our grandson is so moving. Michelle you really are very gifted as a photographer & a writer. We are so blessed everyday to get to be part of our grandchildren's lives. Korbyn is 5 weeks out from his kidney transplant and is doing fantastic! He is doing all kinds of different things. He can pick up & eat little bits of food (yogurt bits are his favorite treat). He also rolls over now! I am thankful for all the prayers that went up on behalf of Korbyn. "The little boy who smiles".... Of course he smiles Korbyn has been Blessed BEYOND measure. GOD is GOOD... ALL THE TIME.
Praise God! So thankful for Korbyn's health and his family's joy! Definitely remembering to pray for him!
My nephew is almost 2 weeks old, a preemie who's doc told my brother and sister-in-law he would only live an hour, and if he lived at all would have brain damage. He's doing great, off meds and feeding tubes and other machines, nursing from his mama and responding to sounds and light, like a regular baby.
God is so good!!!
Sherry Childress(non-registered)
Michelle you are so gifted. Thank you for sharing your talents. This is such an amazing story and Korbyn is such an amazing baby! I am in awe of all he has accomplished! Matt..this is a huge step in your life. I am so proud of you. You are a great Dad! Dwayne and should be so proud of the fine young man Matt has become! We will be praying for you guys as you begin this journey! Love you all!
Connie G.(non-registered)
What a precious little angel. He is so sweet. God has a plan and we are all part of it. We will pray and lift him up. He has a special family and rather warriors who will keep him before our Father.
Korbyn's Nana(non-registered)
As Korbyn's nana I just want to say thank u for sharing his story. Everyday for our ill fighter is another day of God's miracles being shown through him. He has absolutely been a God send and so has each and everyone that has helped him, sacrificed for him but most of all the ones who have prayed and just simply loved this lil man even when they didn't know him..God bless you Michelle for seizing the opportunity to show God at work...
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