Hospice nurse took care of baby on brink of death – 18 years later she’s asked to take his graduation pictures

Hospice staff are always ready for bitter goodbyes because they know that the people who usually come to them never make it out of their care alive.

But of course there are those miracles that defy all expectations. And Branden West was one of them. Here is his story…

Even before Branden West came into this world, his parents were worried about how he would survive. Her mother, Cheri West, had gone in for a prenatal exam when the doctors told her that her unborn child had some complications that would make her life difficult due to her special needs.

After he was born, the family discovered that her son’s condition was not as bad as they had originally thought. Branden was born with Pfeiffer syndrome which affected the shape of his face and skull.

After his birth, doctors predicted that the boy would only live to 18 months.

Knowing that he would not have long to live, his parents decided to place him in hospice care so that what little time his son had on earth would be as comfortable as possible. It was in hospice care that little Brendan met Michele Eddings.

Ella Eddings still remembers the day she found out that she would have to admit a young child into hospice care. She recalls: “The day I went to admit him, I expected it to be a very heavy, tearful, emotional reunion. After all, these parents were admitting their baby to Hospice.”

But the boy she met was happy and seemed in good spirits; something she hadn’t expected. One of the problems Brendan suffered from was related to his respiratory system.

She recalls a tense night when the little boy was gasping for breath and she wasn’t sure if he would survive the night. “I remember begging God to please take it or make it better, it was just too hard for him and his family and everyone involved in taking care of him,” Eddings said.

Fortunately, Branden survived and got better. Eddings fondly remembers, “Braden was the first patient I had the pleasure of ‘discharging’ from hospice.”

In 2020, on Branden’s 18th birthday, Eddings had the great pleasure of seeing him graduate from Apollo High School with her diploma. She saw him go on stage to receive his diploma; a moment no one thought she would live to experience.

Eddings was particularly excited to see her old patient doing so well in her life and she even took and edited pictures of him to celebrate her finishing high school.

What a wonderful story of human beings supporting each other and encouraging each other. This story really put a smile on my face.

Be sure to share this story with your friends and family so they too can smile as they read it!