ROCKFORD, Mich. - A life threatening scare for a West Michigan boy and his family, quickly ended their spring vacation last year. It's a story that many in the community might remember, when Chandyn Thompson had to be flown back to Grand Rapids after undergoing emergency surgery in Tampa.
It all started in April 2016, when 11-year-old Chandyn Thompson suffered an arteriovenous malformation or AVM. He was rushed to the hospital and underwent surgery in Tampa. The community rallied together to help get Chandyn and his family back home to get the care he needed. Once they landed in Grand Rapids, the future was unclear. Chandyn spent nearly four months at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital and went through six months of out patient therapy. Chandyn is now walking and talking again, things he couldn't do just ten months ago.
"He worked every day in therapy, learning how to swallow, learning how to hold up his head, being strong enough to sit up and use a walker and then he talked in June," said his mom Randi.
His parents say his inner strength and their faith is what helped carry them through.
"Chandyn isn't the Chandyn that he was before this happened and he is doing the best he can. He's gaining everyday and I want these new people entering this journey to understand to keep faith and keep hope, trust in these medical professionals and your own capabilities, and you'll walk out here even better than when you came," Randi said.