At age 2, Jonathan Shaw, Jr., has already had to face a lifetime of challenges. Yet with each new day, he smiles through his struggles and learns to overcome.
Jonathan’s mother, Briana, had sensed that all was not right with her unborn baby. Although there were no troubling identifiable indications during her pregnancy, she was not surprised when doctors and nurses whisked her baby boy away minutes after birth. But she never expected what came next—a diagnosis that gave her new meaning and focus as she, her husband, Jonathan, and the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital gave their baby a life.
Jonathan was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the development of facial bones and tissue. He spent the next 100 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital, where pediatric medical experts helped get him through a critical time. Struggling to breathe, Jonathan underwent a tracheostomy at two weeks old. At two months, a G-tube was inserted into his stomach to help him feed. A jaw distraction surgery, another major milestone in Jonathan’s treatment, was performed this past summer to reshape his jaw so he could eventually breathe on his own. Briana and Jonathan Sr. learned to manage his health issues, an ongoing battle with trach and G-tube care, and endless therapy sessions and doctor appointments.
Today, Jonathan is a happy and bright boy who loves the outdoors and playing with his friends. He has quite an ear for music, a penchant that will likely develop into a talent when he fully recovers his hearing and voice in the days and years ahead. Until then, Jonathan will continue to inspire those around him and meet every step in his progress with a smile.
You can help light up the season for kids like Jonathan with...
Hope: Give the gift of hope and make your best gift to our Kids Fund by December 31 at chnola.org/lights. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible and will be put to work immediately to support the most pressing needs of our hospital, from purchasing life-saving equipment to funding cutting-edge pediatric research.
Joy: Along with your gift, write a message of encouragement to our patients, their families, and our staff. Your message will be shared directly with those in most need of holiday cheer.
Love: Spread the love and inspire others to consider Children’s Hospital by sharing your message of hope on social media with the hashtag #LightUpCHNOLA.
Children’s Hospital New Orleans never stops, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this very moment, our dedicated caregivers are in our operating rooms, intensive care units and specialty clinics healing wounds, soothing bellyaches, and saving lives! Every day, every season – Children’s Hospital cares for kids like Jonathan who need us most, regardless of the severity of their illness or their family’s ability to pay – thanks to the generosity of friends like you.