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Meet Dylan, King of the Krewe of Healing

Meet Dylan, King of the Krewe of Healing

Alex and Dane Dishon were preparing to welcome their first child into the world when they learned the devastating news that their baby’s heart was not developing properly. Alex carried the knowledge bravely as she carried Dylan to term, delivering at a Baton Rouge hospital and choosing Children’s Hospital New Orleans to save his life. The day after he was born, Baby Dylan was transferred to Children’s, where the Dishons soon learned the severity of their son’s condition. A staged surgical process was needed to repair his numerous and complex heart defects. The first occurred when he was 16 days old; a second surgery soon followed.

The Dishons experienced many ups and downs as Dylan fought to survive the 71 days he initially spent in the cardiac intensive care unit. Two months after he was discharged, he returned for a third surgery. Within Dylan’s first five months of life, he withstood three major open-heart surgeries. Living in an RV on Children’s Hospital’s campus, Alex and Dane were grateful to have had the opportunity to prepare in advance for these first months with their newborn son. Little did they know it was just the beginning of a turbulent journey that would test the family’s strength and resilience.

With Dylan’s heart now repaired, the Dishons returned home to settle into their new life with their 5-month-old baby. Accustomed to maintaining constant vigilance, Alex and Dane observed many rewarding moments with Dylan. The family was slowly recovering from the ordeal when Dylan began experiencing seizures. Six months after his third heart surgery, neurological evaluations identified additional complications from the trauma he endured, including the risks from being on ECMO, a heart lung bypass machine, for four days. At some point during his first few months of life, Dylan had suffered a massive stroke. The subsequent damage signaled challenging years ahead for the Dishons.

Driving to Children’s Hospital from the Dishons' Mandeville home became a routine occurrence when Dylan’s deficits became more apparent. Ongoing doctors visits and therapy sessions helped to treat his epilepsy, left-sided muscle weakness, and cognitive disabilities. As Dylan developed, so did his love for the hospital staff who treated him like a king. Each arrival felt like a second homecoming.

From cardiology, neurological, and ENT specialists to hematologists, orthopedic surgeons, and numerous therapists, Dylan’s Children’s Hospital kingdom has expanded over his 13 years. His subjects continue to marvel at Dylan’s strength and resilience. Every new struggle has been overpowered by a momentous experience, like throwing a football with Drew Brees and becoming a star Miracle League player. Revered as Children’s Hospital royalty, Dylan is crowned King of the Krewe of Healing.

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