Eighteen-year-old Connor Weldy is a miracle child.
The West Forsyth High School baseball player shared his story on Dec. 9 for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Making Miracles Radiothon to help raise money for the organization.
While he recently committed to play baseball at Augusta University, at one point, his parents didn’t know if he would make it that far.
In 2003 at age 5, after struggling with pneumonia and numerous ear infections, doctors at Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, which is located near the Perimeter Mall in Atlanta, found the boy had a blood clot in his brain — one that was completely blocking his left main artery.
Doctors told his parents if the right side became blocked, he would have a stroke, and if the clot moved to his lungs or heart, he could die or become paralyzed.
But that wasn’t the worst of it — an MRI showed he had an infection called mastoiditis, which is generally caused by ear infections. He would need immediate brain surgery, his mother, Kim Weldy, said.
“The infection was so bad it had abscessed, and all the bone of the skull area around his left ear crumbled from infection when they opened Connor up,” she said. “They could not remove the blood clot because it was sitting on the nerves that controlled his face, and their fear was [by] removing it, [it] could cause his face to be paralyzed. They inserted a drainage tube to allow the infection to drain out and closed him back up.”
The drainage tube allowed Weldy to be sent home, but the doctors warned his parents there was still a very good chance he could die.
“The doctor explained to us that Connor was a very sick little boy and we still had great chances that the blood clot would move or continue to grow and cause him to have a stroke,” Weldy said. “They [began] Connor on heparin, a blood thinner, but if something happened and he cut himself or bruised himself, he could bleed to death before we could get him to the hospital.
“His days, [which] were once filled with friends and playing sports, now had turned into doctor’s appointments, IV drugs and lying around doing nothing.”
For about six months, Weldy said, the family made the trip to CHOA’s hematology center three times per week. Each month, the boy had to return to Scottish Rite for an MRI, which tracked the size of the clot.
After half a year of receiving the same information — that the blood clot remained unchanged — Connor’s doctors decided to send him to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Before the family made the trip, however, he needed one more MRI, so the doctors at St. Jude’s would know what they were working with, Weldy said.
When Weldy and her husband sat down to review the MRI results with the doctor, she said the doctor was perplexed.
“She kept stuttering around and finally said, ‘I don’t really know where to begin — I don’t have an explanation for all of this, [but] it is gone. The blood clot is gone and there is absolutely no medical explanation for it.’” Weldy said. “Two weeks before it had been there in full force and now it was gone. My husband lifted his hands in the air right there in the doctor’s office and began praising God. He explained to the doctor that we didn’t need a medical explanation because we worship a God that performs miracles.
“Twelve years later, I still get to wake up each and every morning and look my little miracle in the face.”
Weldy said her son still suffers from severe migraines and has since been admitted to the hospital for additional treatment.
But, “he is alive and the blood clot is gone,” and for that, Weldy said, she thanks CHOA.