The world has lost a hero with the passing of the “miracle boy” known as “Jaxon Strong.” Though he lived for only five years, Jaxon leaves a legacy of Life and hope that most people do not achieve in a full lifetime, and he continues to inspire people around the world.
Before Jaxon Buell was born in 2014, doctors discovered that he had a rare condition called micro hydranencephaly. Jaxon’s parents, Brittany and Brandon Buell were encouraged by some to undergo an abortion, as Jaxon’s condition likely meant that he would live only hours after birth. Due to the rare condition, Jaxon was missing part of his skull and his brain was only one fifth the normal size.
Brittany and Brandon, described as devout Christians, never considered ending their son’s life in an abortion. Brandon told News4Jax, “We’re never going to play God. We always gave him a chance, a fighting chance.” Instead of ending Jaxon’s life because of the uncertainty surrounding his condition, his parents chose to deliver him by C-section and embrace any time with their son they had.
Despite doctors predicting that Jaxon would live for only days, he continued to live and thrive, continually surpassing doctor’s expectations. In the first weeks of Jaxon’s life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), doctors even pressured his parents to sign a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order but they refused. The families of many babies with complex medical conditions and uncertain prognoses are told their children are “incompatible with life.” In these situations, families often have to fight for the basic life-affirming care that their children need.
Jaxon’s medical team thought he would never be able to walk or talk and advised Jaxon’s parents to take him home and make him comfortable. Instead, Jaxon developed far beyond what was predicted and captured hearts around the world with his bright blue eyes and personality. With the hashtag #JaxonStrong, the family shared updates over the years as people around the world followed his story.
According to People, Jaxon’s health declined in March, and he was hospitalized before he passed away. His family told media that the boy’s death was unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic. His father told media, “Jax passed away very peacefully, comfortable in my arms.” Brandon added, “He was surrounded by his parents and his family and enjoyed so much love and snuggles in the final moments of his life and journey with us.”
Over the years, the Buells became more outspoken about their Pro-Life beliefs after watching son’s beauty and purpose. Despite disabilities that led many doctors to give up on him, the Buells never doubted that their son’s life was valuable and precious, encouraging countless other families in difficult situations to choose Life.
Jaxon’s father has spoken for Pro-Life organizations following his experience. “I’m feeling led to speak for and on behalf of Jaxon in a leadership role as a father,” he explained. “The entire reason that I do it is because I’m so proud of my son and his story and the fact that we chose life. That story always needs to be shared and told. The pro-life community needs more men to stand up. More fathers need to stand up and join these women. You think of the mother and child but there is the entire family. I’m standing beside them and I’m standing with them. This is a cause worth believing in and I think a male effort can make it even louder.”
Now that their beloved son is no longer with them, the family continues to share his legacy. “I have no idea how this healing process is supposed to go,” Brandon told News4Jax. “All I know is how proud of my son I am, how much I will miss him, how much he has changed my life, and how much he has touched countless others.”
On Instagram, Brandon wrote, “I love you so much, Jaxon. I can’t wait to see you again someday in your perfect form, running and laughing in Heaven. Enjoy the head start, son. You earned it by being the most perfect, the sweetest, and the strongest little boy ever.” Many people will remember Jaxon for his strength and the legacy of Life he leaves behind.