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Oklahoma parents face a rare disease and a decision for life

David and Haleigh Jacobs, of Blanchard, have had to make several decisions regarding their baby boy, Brantley. Brantley was born with what doctors think is Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: April 6, 2012

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This turned out to be dried blood. When Brantley was born eight weeks early in December, he was bleeding because of a quarter-sized hole in his buttocks. Doctors had to stitch up the hole and start a blood transfusion within two hours of his birth.

In the first 12 weeks of his life, Brantley received 14 blood transfusions and seven plasma infusions.

At birth, he weighed 4 pounds 3 ounces, a pound of which was his leg. His leg was tender and would burst open and bleed because of the pressure inside it from the extra fluid. All of the leg bones are present inside Brantley's leg, but the extra fluid in his leg has weakened the bones to the point that he probably could not use them.

The family was at an Oklahoma City hospital for eight weeks. They were then transferred to Arkansas Children's Hospital. When Brantley arrived by plane in Arkansas, doctors found — along with complications from Klippel-Trenaunay — that he had not only E. coli but also meningitis. He recovered from both diseases, and he and his parents have been home for a few weeks.

Currently, the prognosis is for doctors at Arkansas Children's Hospital to amputate at least a portion of his leg in June, unless doctors in Boston say otherwise.

At this point, Haleigh and David Jacobs want to do what's best for their baby.

If doctors amputate his leg at the knee, there's a chance he would still be able to walk with a prosthetic.

“If there's a chance that we can have him walking and running around, we sure want to do it,” David Jacobs said.

Haleigh Jacobs has taken hundreds of photos with her cellphone and is keeping everything, from the ultrasound pictures to the emails the hospitals have sent her. When Brantley is old enough, his parents will hand over all the information.

“So that way, he'll know,” she said.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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