Longview child turns four, despite doctor's prediction

A Longview boy with a rare organ condition, celebrates his fourth birthday. Tristan Hardy reports.

LONGVIEW - For many children, a toy track loader is cool have. However, it was even better for Rhylan Acker because he steered one for his birthday. One could say he admires 'heavy machinery'. For that reason, his grandmother reached out to United Rentals in Longview, an equipment rental company. She asked if Rhylan could have a chance to operate a truck for his fourth birthday. His mother Alitha described her son to be a blessing. 

"We're trying to raise him right and set him on the right path for life," Alitha said. "To see him smile is just few and far between us especially when it's actual pure genuine joy." 

Ackers mother said he's born with a rare condition called 'dextrocardia organ inversus'. His organs are on the opposite side of his body. His heart would be located on the right side of his chest, along with other organs such as: his spleen and kidney and placed different inside his body. It is a condition Dr. Shafik Hanna-Moussa, a cardiologist, said is rare to see in East Texas. 

"That's a surgical condition," Dr. Moussa said. "They [surgeons] have to reverse those arteries for that kid to maintain and sustain life." 

Alitha said doctors told her Rhylan wasn't supposed to live considering his condition. Ackers had surgery when he was 18 months old. He's survived his trials of surgeries and his strength kept Alitha strong too. 

"Every breath is a gift, it's not something to be taken for granted," Alitha said. 

Dr. Moussa said in his 20 years of working, he's only dealt with at least four patients similiar to Acker's condition. He said the child should live a long and healthy life. 

© 2017 KYTX-TV


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