KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

19-Month-Old Fights For Life

Bookmark and Share

With just 18 days until Christmas, a lot of families are looking forward to spending the holidays at home, putting up Christmas decorations and baking treats, but some families don't have that privilege and are forced find other ways keep the holiday spirit alive.

The Churchill family is going through the unthinkable, Melissa and Jeremy’s baby boy, Maddox, also known as “Max,” is at the Sanford’s Children’s hospital after being diagnosed with a rare condition that effects one-in-10 million people.

That hasn't stopped the family of six; instead of giving up, they're bringing Christmas to him.

"When the world says give up, hope says try one more time," said Melissa Churchill.

That's the motto; Melissa said she and her family have been following.

Little "Max" was diagnosed with a rare condition called Opsoclonus Myoclonus, which is also called "dancing eyes and dancing feet syndrome,” where development stops and Max lost control over his hands and feet.

"This is when the body's own immune system will actually attack the brain and cause disease," said Dr. Kruer.

Dr. Michael Kruer, a Pediatric Neurologist, said Max is receiving intensive around the clock medical care, to help him breathe, eat and do other basic functions.

Through strong treatments to try and calm Max's immune system down, such as chemotherapy, Dr. Kruer said it's encouraging to see this baby boy's determination.

"It's astonishing how tenacious he's been and we're here to do everything we possibly can to help see him through this," said Dr. Kruer.

Max has made it through dozens of tests, seizures and at one point, was without a pulse for 28 minutes.

With doctor's thinking the end was Near, Max's family was asked if they wanted to let their son go or keep fighting.

"If he didn't want to be here, he wouldn't have been. A lot of kids would have given up by now," said Churchill.

Max's fight is Melissa's hope and Max might be sleeping right now, but when his eyes are open, he's known to be quite the flirt.

"He steals hearts, he blows kisses to the nurses, he hugs them, he's a big fighter, he's got a good spirit," said Churchill.

In the meantime, Max's family has decorated his hospital room with sparkly trees, holiday signs and even reindeer antlers, hoping to bring some Christmas joy his way.

The family has made “Team Maddox,” shirts to raise awareness for little Max’s condition, if interested, visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/MaddoxChurchill.

There is also a fund set up for Maddox at First Premier Bank, under the “Maddox Churchill benefit account.”

< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >

Last-Minute Shoppers Hit Downtown Sioux Falls  story with video

South Dakotans are flocking to stores for some last-minute Christmas ...

Police Investigate Sioux Falls Casino Robbery

Sioux Falls Police are investigating their fourth robbery in the past 10 days. ...

SD Reports First Flu Death Of Season

The South Dakota Health Department says A Hutchinson County resident in the ...

Thune: No Airspace Plan Would Be 'Terrible Loss'  Dec. 24

"Heroes Behind The Badges" Blood Drive  Dec. 24

Firefighters Deliver Toys To Kids   Dec. 24

Woman Accused Of Drowning Young Daughter  Dec. 24

Antlerless Deer Season Scheduled To Reopen In South Dakota  Dec. 24

Police Release Video Of Berkeley, MO Shooting  Dec. 24

Christmas Tree Drop-Off Sites Open Friday  Dec. 24

Capitol Christmas Tree Display Ends Saturday  Dec. 24

Court Reverses Protection Order Against Man  Dec. 24

SD Farm Bureau Announces Funds For New Fair Building  Dec. 24

Mount Rushmore Receives Lighting System Donation  Dec. 24

The Daily Scoop: 12-24-14  story with video  Dec. 24

Santa Answers Questions From Kids  story with video  Dec. 24

SF Railyard Redevelopment Moves Forward  Dec. 23

Families Reunite Just In Time For Christmas  story with video  Dec. 23

Alcohol Related Crashes On The Decline In SD  story with video  Dec. 23

SD Gov. Daugaard Names New Game, Fish Secretary  Dec. 23

KDLT News Archive

Woman Accused Of Drowning Young Daughter

A St. Paul woman is facing a second-degree murder charge ...

Keurig Recalls 'Mini Plus' Coffee Makers

Keurig is recalling some 7 million of single-serve ...

Outbreaks Of Norovirus Are Hitting MN Hard

Outbreaks of norovirus are hitting Minnesota hard. ...

Firefighters Shop For Hospitalized Kids   Dec. 23

SD Middle School Teacher Sentenced On Drug Charge  Dec. 23

Tensions Mount In Aftermath Of Shooting By Police Officer  Dec. 23

Families Reunite Just In Time For Christmas  story with video  Dec. 23

Alcohol Related Crashes On The Decline In SD  story with video  Dec. 23

KDLT News Archive

Zenner, Weineke All-Americans again!

PHILADELPHIA -- South Dakota State University running back Zach Zenner and ...

Luverne rallies past Totino-Grace in hockey thriller  story with video

Freshman sensation Jaxon Nelson helped the Luverne Cardinals erase a ...

Jacks win streak snapped by #14 Utah  story with video

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Freshman Brekkott Chapman scored a career-best 22 points ...

HBC beats Luverne in boys hoops  story with video  Dec. 23

Krogman leads Northern Wolves  story with video  Dec. 23

Hughes signs extension with Twins  story with video  Dec. 23

Buchta honored by USHL  story with video  Dec. 23

Ashley and Ward honored by NSIC  story with video  Dec. 23

KDLT Sports Stories
Back To Top