Young Covington boy battles muscular dystrophy and thrives thanks to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Inside Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Outpatient Center in East Memphis, whether you're a physical therapist or a family member, 23-month-old Jack Edwards steals the heart of just about everyone he meets.

Just ask his parents Kenny Edwards and Andi Katherine Edwards.

"Jack is a mess. He's so energetic. Some people don't see that, but he's like that around us," Andi Katherine Edwards said.

"He is my son. Can't you tell, just look at him. He's amazing, a blessing," Kenny Edwards said.

Jack is an amazing and blessed little boy, especially when you look back on the day he was born, October 6, 2015.

His parents remember hearing the voices of Jack's doctors and nurses going from excitement to worry.

"They said, 'Everybody ready? OK, here he comes!' And we're like so excited, and he didn't cry and Kenny said he's not breathing, he's not breathing," Andi Katherine said.

For six minutes, which felt like an eternity for his parents, Jack wasn't breathing.

"I was hysterical and he was even more hysterical than I was," Andi Katherine said.

"I was praying please Lord 'cause I didn't know what was going on. I saw the monitor count down three minutes, four minutes, just suction trying to get him breathing and he's not breathing," Kenny said.

He was immediately rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit at Baptist Women's Hospital. Once Jack was stabilized, he was placed on a ventilator. After five days of waiting for answers, the Edwards finally got some, but those answers were not what they were prepared to hear.

"They said he had significant brain damage. They really didn't know what was the matter with him," Andi Katherine said.

Kenny and Andi Katherine were scared, but they say their faith in God gave them strength to make a life-changing decision for their son.

"The good Lord has the final say so, and we ain't given up on them. We asked to be transferred to Le Bonheur, and that was the best decision we ever made because, like I said, they saved his life," Kenny Edwards said.

But Jack wasn't in the clear just yet. After two months of extensive testing, the Edwards were told that Jack had myotonic muscular dystrophy.

"Which is a really rare form of muscular dystrophy, especially when you're born with it. Basically what it is, when the muscles are really weak in the face, trunk, arms and the legs," said Sonya Waites, a physical therapist at Le Bonheur.

For 10 weeks the Edwards were at Jack's side at Le Bonheur, and they were able to stay close by at the FedExFamilyHouse.

Jack started to improve and was finally allowed to go home to Covington, Tennessee, just before Christmas with his doctors staying in constant contact.

"They treat you like family. You're going through one of the hardest points in your life, and they make you feel at home. It's comforting," Kenny said.

Jack still has therapy two days a week, and he's getting stronger everyday with the help of Le Bonheur specialists: Rebecca Thomas, a pediatric occupational therapist, and Leigha Friener, a pediatric speech language pathologist.

"I feel we respect the child. There are lots of places that will accommodate kids, but this place is for kids," Rebecca Thomas said.

"We don't just see the patient and leave; we get to build the trust in that community with our patients," Leigha Friener said.

Patients like Jack Edwards are given a greater chance not just to live, but to thrive.

"Oh God, it's amazing. He's amazing. He is the most precious child I've ever been around. He is my baby," Andi Katherine said.

The Edwards say they don't even want to think about where their son would be today if not for Le Bonheur.

"I see the building that saved my son's life, and we're so blessed that Memphis has a wonderful children's hospital," Kenny said.

Kenny and Andi Katherine say miracles happen at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. It's a hospital of exceptional care for kids like their son, Jack.

"He's a miracle baby," Andi Katherine said.

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