Caleb Smith

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Caleb's story...well folks, as of 5 days ago I never thought I would be sitting here on this type of website typing this for anyone in my family especially my siblings. But here I am...Caleb is my younger brother and just turned 18 years old this past August. He is quiet and shy but one of the brightest and sweetest kids you will ever meet and always loves to laugh and constantly has a smile on his face. He is always joking and can light up a room. About a year ago Caleb started to complain about severe headaches and migraines. Naturally in our family of tough guys, we dismissed it as teenager syndrome and told him to toughen up. As time went on the headaches got worse, and I remember the concerned look on Caleb's face as he would tell me, "There is something wrong with my head." Several months ago he started having double vision but didn't really say anything about it. Well he finally told us about the double vision which set off alarm bells and we were able to get him into a doctor shortly after that. On December 8th, the doctor sent him for an MRI and quickly called him back as they had found a mass in his cerebellum. Caleb was scared to say the least, and who could blame him. How would you feel at 18 years old and a doctor telling you there is something foreign in your brain that is not supposed to be there. We brought Caleb to the ER at Kettering Medical Center that night and he was quickly admitted to the ICU and the neurosurgeon began looking over his MRI scans. The next morning the neurosurgeon met with Caleb and explained the scans showed a 3 cm x 3 cm tumor located in his cerebellum over the 4th ventricle of the brain and that he wanted to proceed with surgery to remove it and get it evaluated by the pathologist as quickly as possible. Even though Caleb had never had surgery and was scared to death, he agreed and the neurosurgeon told him he would assemble his "A-team" and they would do surgery the following morning. Caleb was emotional but also very brave. He knew what needed to be done and he accepted it with determination. Over the next few hours Caleb received support and encouragement from his church, his family, and others; praying for him and visiting him, or just calling or texting to let him know they loved him and were praying for him. It was heartwarming and comforting to see the amount of love and support there was for this young man. It was amazing. The next morning we said our goodbyes, and they rolled Caleb into the OR. I tell you this kid is my hero, he went with a calm and collected spirit; meanwhile not knowing what to expect. 5 hours later the surgeons came out to inform us that the surgery had gone well, they had removed as much as they could of the tumor, but that they did find atypical cells in the tumor that seemed to indicate it was malignant. We were told to wait on pathology to confirm this. Little did we know, that Caleb was in for a rough day and night. The ventriculostomy that the surgeons installed to relieve swelling and pressure from fluid on the brain became clogged later that day and Caleb suffered from severe intracranial pressure and his respiratory drive shut down that night causing him to become unresponsive and quit breathing. They intubated him and put him on a ventilator and eventually discovered the clog in the drain and were able to get it working properly again which was a huge relief for Caleb and us. After that he began to improve dramatically, but it was still so hard to see our little brother, the youngest out of us, suffering through so much pain with tubes and wires coming out of almost every part of his body. The medical staff and team at Kettering were amazing and acted quickly to help Caleb. Over the next few days, Caleb would begin his road to recovery. It is a long one to say the least, but one that Caleb has embraced with a strength from within and above. There are neurological deficiencies, and Caleb struggles at times because to be honest, he went from last week being a fairly self-sufficient adult with a full-time job; to having to relearn how to feed himself, hand-eye coordination, walking, and other simple tasks that most of us take for granted. He also faces weeks, if not months, of radiation as the pathology confirmed that it was indeed a malignant tumor, Medulloblastoma. This is a very rare form of brain cancer, especially in adults and is known to be fast-growing. Caleb has a tough battle ahead of him but he has great strength in him, resilience, and an indomitable spirit. He is ready to fight this and he is my hero! God has a special plan for Caleb's life, and even though it is hard to see sometimes through all the pain and suffering, we know there is something great meant for Caleb. We will stand by his side and help him fight this every step of the way. #WEARESTRONGTOGETHER #STAYSTRONG #NEVERGIVEUP

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