ETX boy defying odds after rare diagnosis

Rare Diagnosis

TYLER (KYTX) - A six-year-old boy is celebrating a special anniversary this weekend. And, everyone is invited to join him.  

Five years ago, Bentley Brands was given six months to live.  Now, he's almost seven years old and healthier than ever.

He was born with a rare condition called Short Gut Syndrome. Most people are born with 100 centimeters of small intestines. Bentley was only born with 10. Doctors told his mother he would need a miracle to live. Well, she got one, and she says she's thankful for it everyday.

Watching Bentley Brands play the guitar, you'd never know just how lucky he is to be alive. But, his mother says he has the marks to prove his long and difficult struggle.


"Battle scars."

Bentley was born with Short Gut Syndrome, which means he barely had a small intestine.

"He couldn't tolerate food or bottles or anything like that." says his mother, Danielle Brands.

Doctors told her he'd need a new intestine, liver and pancreas if he was going to live.

"It was hard, just trying to figure out what's going to happen and we just kept on- kept our faith, really. I mean, that's the only thing I can say that got us through." she says.

After 18 long months in and out of the hospital, with lots of machinery and medicine, the Brands finally got the phone call they'd been needing.

"They just asked, you know, if Bentley would like to accept some organs. And, of course, I'm shaking and- 'yes, of course! yes!"
It was a successful 12-hour surgery.

Today, Bentley is a happy, healthy boy.

"He looks great, he's doing great. Last year was our first year to not have any hospital stays. So, that's a miracle in itself."

And Danielle says he's been a supportive older brother to his nine-month-old sister- Kinley.

"He's awesome. He's so helpful and he loves his sister."
Danielle says she never forgets to count her two little miracles.

"It's a blessing. I just thank God everyday for blessing up the way he did. Danielle says Bentley is an example of just how important it is to donate organs."

Bentley's intestine, liver and pancreas all came from the same person. Danielle says she's never met that person, but it's something they're grateful for every day.

This weekend at the Henderson Civic Center, people can also find out how to become an organ donor and make monetary donations to help with Bentley's medical costs. You can come show your support for Bentley and other organ transplant survivors there. The celebration is Sunday, 1-4 p.m. at the Henderson Civic Center.




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