INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A young boy is home in time for Thanksgiving after a mystery illness forced doctors to take unthinkable measures to save his life.
2-year-old Jeremiah Cox spent weeks recovering at Riley Children’s Hospital. Because of the illness, doctors were forced to partially amputate all four of his limbs. The mystery illness had become septic, with doctors in the emergency room giving him a life-saving antibiotic, but not before irreversible damage was done. He braved weeks of therapy for the chance to be home.
“As time goes by, I think we will all learn how to cope with it,” his mother, Ashley Cox, said.
Re-entry into home life was suppose to be all smiles, with his three siblings getting to see the old Jeremiah. But their new life comes with challenges.
“He literally just sat in his room on the floor looking at all his toys,” his father, Nicholas Thompson, said. “I think he recognized he couldn’t run up and grab anything.”
“I had to pick him up, run around with the kids, make him feel like a kid again,” Cox said.
For 23 hours he must wear a skin-tight suit that will prepare his limbs for prosthetics. Additionally, he must spend 22 hours in a body brace that keeps his legs straight. It helps him lie flat. Doctors at Riley Children’s say his amputations can cause his legs to naturally pop up, which can cause permanent flexibility issues that could prevent him from walking again.
“He was going home, and he thought maybe at home, he wouldn’t get any of this,” Cox said.
His parents said the treatment can be hard to watch, but it will ultimately be worth it to see him walk and run one day.