Welcome to Landon's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.
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Landon's Story: (first I think it is important to say that my name is Kelsey Strahm, I am a friend and neighbor of the Solberg's as well as the mom of one of Landon's good friends, Brody. I am writing this to help get the prayer chain going with the Solberg's permission- but they may change this to align with their own version of events at a later date. After all, it is ultimately their story to tell).
Anyone who knows Andrea (North) and Travis Solberg and their 3 adorable kids, knows that Landon, who is 10 and in 4th grade, is such a special boy. Kind, smart, athletic, and funny are just a few of the many words I would use to describe him. He is so easy going and such a joy to be around. He enjoys lake time with his family, plays football and basketball, enjoys reading and excels in school, and enjoys spending time with friends.
Landon has been having headaches, which eventually were thought to be migraines for quite some time. Over the past month+ he has been coming home from school early several times a week and would be able to do very minimal as far as activity once he was home. The migraines continued to get worse, even causing vomiting, and doctor's started him on migraine medications. However, not too long after they were started, Landon began having double vision and Andrea's mom instinct told her that it was time to bring him to the hospital, as he was far too miserable and sick for this to just be migraines.
Tuesday 12/5/17- When Landon was admitted to the hospital- first at Essentia, and then later transferred to Sanford Children's, they ran a variety of tests- scans, labs, etc. to find out what was going on. They began ruling out things as results came back such as infectious diseases, fungal infections, chiari malformation, etc. It was determined from his scans that there was quite a bit of fluid in his head, and once the pediatric neurologist came in to see him, he said it was crucial that the pediatric neurosurgeon take Landon to the OR to place a drain as soon as possible, as his ICP (Intracranial Pressure) was too high. Landon's symptoms reflected that at that point as well, as he was unable to even open his eyes and was in quite a bit of pain. Landon was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care unit and taken to the OR for surgery.
Luckily, after the drain was placed (also called an EVD or external shunt), Landon started to feel much better. At this point, test results were still coming back and there were no answers that were revealing themselves as to exactly what was going on. They did take a sample of Landon's Cerebral Spinal fluid (CSF) to test it as well- they were able to take this from the drain. The results ended up being inconclusive, however.
Landon had an MRI done and it should be noted that he was able to lay completely still for the full hour and a half- which is pretty impressive if you ask me (he has also made mention that he doesn't want to argue with any of the nurses or hospital staff or cause any problems, so he just goes along with whatever they say he needs to do---like I said, such a sweet boy). The MRI showed quite a bit of swelling and they were unable to see everything that they wanted to see. However, this is when the Solberg's were told by the pediatric oncologist that they were suspicious that Landon might have a tumor in his brain stem- called a glioma. To look into this further, they decided to start Landon on IV steroids to bring down the swelling so that they would be able to repeat the MRI and hopefully be able to see more.
In the meantime, Landon was able to eat, play video games, read, watch movies- I believe he started the Star Wars movies, build legos, and even was able to visit with friends and family headache-free! The new Cully's Cabin play room is one of his favorite hang outs (at the hospital-of course he would rather be at home).
The MRI was repeated Monday morning with not enough improvement to the amount of swelling to be able to see things more clearly, which of course was unfortunate. The other unfortunate news, is that the pediatric oncologist was still thinking that Landon had a tumor in his brain stem. It was determined at that time that they would need to make a plan in regards to the drain (whether or not to internalize it and have the fluid drain from Landon's brain to his abdomen or to pull the drain out all together if it was determined to no longer be needed- this would be done by clamping the drain and seeing how Landon tolerated it). It was also determined that Landon would need to go to Mayo for further evaluation (they have an MRI machine that is able to take pictures from many more different angles as well as a team that specializes in the care of children with gliomas). However, if by some glorious miracle, this proves to not be a glioma, Mayo would be able to determine that and direct his care in that instance as well.
Here is information about Gliomas from the Mayo website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/glioma/symptoms-causes/syc-20350251
Now here we are 1 week later, Tuesday 12/12/17- they clamped Landon's drain and he seemed to be doing great for quite some time (16+ hours). Then a quicker MRI revealed that the ventricles in his brain were enlarged and his ICP was elevated. So Wednesday morning 12/13/17 he went back to the OR, where the pediatric neurosurgeon attempted to open space by the third ventricle to allow fluid to drain. However, there was too much debris present, so she instead had to leave the external drain in. They are clamping it over night again, and will *fingers crossed* take Landon back to the OR tomorrow night to place the internal drain (shunt). Landon would then need to stay in the hospital to recover from that and make sure the shunt is working properly. The hope is that he would get to spend a small amount of time at home and in his own bed before then heading off to Mayo Sunday.
The family is going to wait until they get the word from Mayo about what is going on with Landon, as far as any kind of official diagnosis.
Andrea and Travis have already felt so supported by friends and family who have reached out, but the main request is for some big prayers, and to keep praying for Landon and the Solberg's as their journey continues. I know that this period of not having any definitive answers and therefore no plan on how to move forward has been absolutely unbearable. I think the more good vibes, positivity, and tons of prayers we can send their way the better.
Although the Solberg family have just amazed me, it is so incredibly hard to stay as strong as they need to be, while feeling their weakest. They really could use all of our support.
"Never stop believing in HOPE because MIRACLES happen every day"