Children's Miracle Network Hospitals help Springfield boy living with Vocal Cord Paralysis

Published: Dec. 2, 2019 at 9:58 AM CST
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"What did the ocean say to the sky, I mean to the sun?," asked six-year-old Brant Wirth as he setup a joke for one of the KY3 Photojournalists. "Nothing, he just waved,” was his punchline.

Brant is the second of three boys in the Wirth Family. His mother, Jeni Wirth, said her pregnancy was picture perfect. However, she said when they got to the delivery room everything quickly changed. "He had to be intubated immediately after birth," she said. "They couldn't get him to take his first breaths and so they had to call in for emergency help."

After two days in Springfield with no answers, Brant's parents knew they had to get their newborn son somewhere that could help. "He had to be airlifted to Kansas City," began Jeni. "Does that mean I was born in trouble?," Brant asked, interrupting his mother. "You needed some help when you were born a little bit," she said with a laugh and a smile at her son’s question.

Doctors would later discover Brant suffers from Idiopathic Bilateral Vocal Cord Paralysis. "Normal functioning vocal chords open and close when you breathe, whenever you swallow, to protect your airway," Brant's father explained. "His didn't move, they just kind of sat at a position called mid-line which was far enough open for him to get some air, but not enough of what he needed."

Brant would undergo tracheotomy surgery and get a gastrointestinal tube.

Brant Wirth Senior and his wife talked about how their son’s condition changed their life. “We had a nurse that came and lived with us, our moms came and lived with us, so it completely turned our whole life-cycles around," said Jeni.

They agree that over the years the nurses and staff at Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) became more and more like family. "They've assisted us in more ways than just financial," Brant's mother began. "The people that are working with Children's Miracle Network, they become friends because you talk to them so often throughout these visits and they've just really helped us a lot."

Brant recently had his trach tube removed and is in therapy.

His parents said they know their son couldn't have come so far if they didn't have the care and support from CMNH. Brant Wirth Senior talked about the financial relief they felt thanks to CMNH. "When you're trying to focus on taking care of your child, that is just a huge burden that gets lifted off of you when they are able to provide that support for you and it's just one less thing you need to worry about," he said.

The Wirth's said they are sharing their story to help other families across the Ozarks looking for hope. "We call Brant our little super hero and that's probably an understatement."

Miracle Week is celebrated during the first week of December. Those looking to donate can call (417) 268-3222 or follow the link attached with this story to donate online.