Brayden Cordell is a sweet 8-year-old boy who loves everyone. He’s also the only person in the world who has been diagnosed with the particular chromosome disorder he has, something referred to as 4q33 depletion with the addition of 1p.
Brayden’s mom, Ashlyn Rhinehart, says doctors knew Brayden had a problem when she was 18 weeks pregnant with him. She was urged multiple times by doctors to abort her baby.
Within 24 hours of coming into the world, Brayden had to have a tracheotomy. He was also born with a cleft palate. His nourishment comes through a feeding tube inserted into his abdomen. Brayden deals with numerous other challenges, including limited use of his arms and legs.
Rhinehart says the best description of her son is happy. “He loves school and other children. He loves church — they call him the little choir director because he waves his arms around to the music.”
On a recent trip to a splash pad in Chattanooga, Brayden’s mom said “the smile didn’t leave his face the whole time we were there.”
Why is Brayden so happy? “I think it’s because of all the love he gets,” says Rhinehart.
Rhinehart says a typical day starts with changing Brayden, making the food that will go into his tube and giving him a shower. She says Brayden’s 3-year-old sister, Millie, loves helping care for her brother. “Millie can fix Brayden’s food and she can also change his trach tube, which needs to be done once a week. She adores her brother.”
During the day, there may be trips to doctor appointments and the grocery store, potty trips and time Brayden spends in his “stander” and in his walker. “He loves to bounce,” says Rhinehart. Depending on the time of year, Brayden attends Stone Creek Elementary School, and there’s church year-around.
Brayden gets his medications in the evening. Rhinehart says he has allergies and is prone to respiratory and viral infections due to his tracheotomy. He also has to take medicine for acid reflux and he takes probiotics.
“I was never a very patient person,” says Rhinehart. “Two good things that have come out of this are that I’ve become a much more patient person, not only with Brayden but with other people, and seeing my kids together is the sweetest thing.”
Brayden’s life has a chance to change for the better soon. He is scheduled to have surgery to adjust his jaw forward so he won’t need his trach tube any longer. Not only would his breathing improve, but he would be able to eat and would be less prone to infections.
The doctor who will do the jaw surgery on Brayden is located in Utah. In addition to medical costs, there will be travel and accommodations, food and other costs related to the trip.
When Charity Lewis, an event planner and organizer based in Chickamauga, saw on Facebook that Rhinehart needed help to cover travel costs related to Brayden’s upcoming surgery, she responded immediately. “I had one more space open this year to do an event,” says Lewis. “I wanted to make sure Brayden gets the help he needs.”
The event is called “Benefit for Brayden Cordell for Medical Travel.” It will be held on June 29, from 2-6 p.m. at the Walker County Civic Center at 10052 US-27 in Rock Spring. There is something for everyone at the event:
♦ Spaghetti and lasagna dinners: $6 each
♦ Silent auctions and raffles
♦ Giant bake sale
♦ Live music: Corey Rose with Rosewood Grips, 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., and Matt Foster, 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
♦ Bounce house
♦ Free Thomas Train rides with Jeff Cameran, 2-4 p.m.
♦ Car and motorcycle show beginning at 1 p.m. (free cruise-in, $25 entry fee per car for People’s Choice awards)
For more information about the benefit, contact Charity Lewis at 423-827-4093. For more information about the car show, contact Robert Rhinehart at 423-645-1154. Donations for the auctions and raffles can be dropped off at Panama Tan, 1119 N. Main St., Lafayette, or call Lewis.
Everyone is invited to the Benefit for Brayden Cordell for Medical Travel.
Where: Walker County Civic Center, 10052 US 27, Rock Spring
When: Saturday, June 29, 2-6 p.m. (car show begins at 1 p.m.)
What: Spaghetti and lasagna dinners: $6 each, silent auctions and raffles, giant bake sale, live music: Corey Rose with Rosewood Grips (3 p.m.-4:15 p.m.) and Matt Foster (4:30 p.m.-6 p.m.), bounce house, free Thomas Train rides (2 p.m.-4 p.m.), car and motorcycle show beginning at 1 p.m. (free cruise-in, $25 entry fee per car for People’s Choice Awards).
For more information about the benefit, contact Charity Lewis at 423-827-4093. For more information about the car show, contact Robert Rhinehart at 423-645-1154. Donations for the auctions and raffles can be dropped off at Panama Tan, 1119 N. Main St., LaFayette, or call Lewis.