A little boy was diagnosed with rare muscular dystrophy at the age of 2 and was told he wouldn’t live past his mid-teenage years. However, not only did he beat the odds, he recently married the love of his life, his former carer.
On Aug. 12, Brenton Smith, 26, from Campbelltown, Sydney, married bride Chrissie, 37, in an intimate outdoor ceremony. The loved-up couple has started their new life together in Campbelltown, southwest of Sydney, Australia.
“They became one and now they’re married,” Brenton’s mother, Kylie, told the Daily Mail. “She accepted Brenton the way he is…”
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a rare condition caused by a genetic mutation that prevents the body from producing dystrophin, a protein that muscles need to work effectively, notes Duchenne.com. Without dystrophin, muscles weaken over time. Children with Duchenne will eventually develop problems with walking and breathing. The condition is progressive, and there is currently no cure.
As a toddler, Brenton couldn’t climb stairs well, his mother recalled.
“[Brenton] was waddling and always falling over,” Kylie said. “I didn’t think it was normal.”
Brenton was diagnosed with Duchenne at Westmead Children’s Hospital in New South Wales. His largest health scare to date occurred years later, at the age of 19. Brenton was hospitalized with severe breathing difficulties.
“He was intubated three times because he was really sick,” Kylie said. “I saw them revive him once and it was traumatic. They also placed a defibrillator in his chest for his heart, which helped save him.”
Brenton spent four months in intensive care before he was presented with a difficult decision. The teen needed a tracheostomy, a surgically placed hole in his neck to help him breathe, because another intubation could kill him.
A terrified Brenton refused the procedure. “I told him it was his choice,” said Kylie.
He received the full support of his medical team, and despite refusing the tracheostomy, he recovered. He has not been sick with such severity since.
Brenton met Chrissie in 2018, when the family employed a carer to help him shower, dress, and eat, allowing Brenton to remain in his own home and live independently.
The pair “hit it off,” said Kylie, and their connection soon evolved into true love.
“Everyone is drawn to Brenton, everyone loves him, strangers come up to him, he’s just a beautiful soul,” his mother said.
“[Y]ou’ll never meet anyone like Brenton.”
Chrissie was the first to arrive at their wedding ceremony on Aug. 12; Brenton was waylaid by performing celebratory “burnouts” in a car with friends, but his blushing bride soon forgave him.
The congregation knew the couple was meant for one another.
“I saw how beautiful and fantastic she was with him and how he was with her,” Kylie said, admitting that as a protective mom, she struggled to warm to Chrissie at first.
Now, Kylie praises her loving daughter-in-law for her dedication.
“[S]he does everything,” Kylie said, “feed him, take him to the toilet, dress him…”
“He’s my husband and I love him,” Chrissie says. “I don’t want any carers.”
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