He Was Tougher Than Titanium
My little brother was born with a genetic abnormality so rare and deadly doctors said he’d never leave the hospital. But Patrick became an expert at proving people wrong.
Photos courtesy Branson Fox
The only noise in the car during the thirty-minute drive is the soft sound of breathing. While I listen to my parents and my sister inhaling and exhaling, I’m aware that my brother has been unable to perform this simple, essential task for hours now. As we drive toward him, the sky is an abyss of darkness, the air a sharp chill. The clock on the car radio reads 3:01 a.m. No one else travels these roads in the middle of the night, but we have to. This may be the last time we can hold Patrick’s hand and feel a pulse. This exact scenario had played out a dozen times in my life.
Shortly after he was born, my brother received a diagnosis only a few hundred others human beings shared: Trisomy 8 Mosaicism. He was born with an extra number-eight chromosome, which can cause a wide variety of abnormalities. For Patrick, one of the worst cases known, this included stunted physical and mental growth. His entire bone structure was abnormal, from his crooked back to his tw…