Brody Simpson came into the world May 8, 2015. He was a little early, but his mom and dad, Lacey and Jason, were ready for his arrival. What they weren’t ready for is what the doctors told them after he was born.
Brody was perfect in the eyes of his parents but his health was not. The biggest problem was a heart defect that needed immediate attention. That included surgery. Without it, Brody wouldn’t live long.
Two days later, Brody was flown from his birthing hospital in Huntsville to Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham. “That was probably the single scariest day of my life,” Jason said. “We were very blessed that we did not lose him. I remember the moment after the cardiologist left the room to tell us that he was going to have to be flown to Children’s. I said, ‘This is one of those moments that can either cement us together or it can crush us. And we’re not going to let it crush us. We’re going to let it cement our family together.’”
Surgery was successful and Brody was discharged four weeks later. Since then, he has undergone seven additional surgeries for a variety of other health issues. “He’s doing great in his growth and development,” Lacey said. “To look at him, you’d never know what he’s been through. He’s incredibly happy and easy going.”
Jason is a well-known broadcast meteorologist with WHNT and uses his public platform to share his family’s story. He and Lacey want to help educate others about congenital heart disease, the excellent care they received at Children’s and the faith that has helped them in their journey.
Two of Brody’s biggest fans are his big sister, Shelby, and big brother, Walt. “He thinks they’re so much fun and is trying to crawl so he can be in the middle of things with them,” Lacey said.
Shelby is “mommy’s helper,” retrieving Brody’s pacifier and lending a toddler-size hand in other ways. Walt has forged an exceptionally strong bond with his youngest sibling. According to Lacey, the brothers speak their own language that only the two of them understand. “Walt has been so brave and
understanding of things you’d never expect a 4-year-old to understand.”
The family celebrated Brody’s first birthday on May 21, 2016. That’s not the date he was born, but it is the anniversary of his first heart surgery. “He got a new lease on life on that day,” Lacey said. “That’s a big day for us.”