The Redmond Police Department got a new officer Thursday night. This special swearing-in was for a three-year-old boy who will gain a new title to go with the badge he already has: Cancer survivor.
But his battle is far from over as he faces a significant medical procedure that will cost him half his brain.
Aaron has a blinding smile and a big heart.
“Aaron is just very sweet,” says his mom, Ashley Davenport.
But his brain has been burdened since he was just six months old. Ashley didn’t know the challenging road that was about to unfold.
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A brain cancer diagnosis and several surgeries — first in Portland, then Seattle. They were successful in saving from cancer, but not without side effects.
“He has a lot of seizures everyday. A dozen is not uncommon,” Ashley says.
You wouldn’t be able to tell, but he’s having a seizure in the photograph below.
He’s already maxed out medication and there are worries the seizures will impact his normal brain development.
So now it’s on to the next step. At this point, doctors in Boston and Seattle both recommend a nearly unimaginable procedure.
“Aaron’s upcoming surgery is either a hemispherectomy for hemispherectomy,” Ashley says.
The nearly-four-year-old will lose half his brain.
Ashley says the conclusion was challenging.
“I really wanted Boston to come up with something else,” she says.
The Cleveland Clinic says a majority of kids have strong long-term results and the seizures are stopped, but Aaron may have to re-learn how to swallow or walk.
“We will forever and always do what’s best for our kids, and if we have well-educated providers saying this is the next step and here’s why, then we have to trust that’s the right thing,” Ashley says.
That surgery is next week in Seattle. Ashley has no clue how long they’ll have to be up there. It depends on how he reacts.
She runs the victims service program attached to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office.
“Yes, it’s really hard as the helper to accept help, let alone ask for it,” Ashley says.
But this town has been here for Aaron since the start.
“It’s just one of the reasons I love being here, is this community is just outstanding. Even when you’re in the darkest of times, this community stands up and supports you,” Ashley says.
After that first surgery in Portland, Redmond police officers headed west with a gift.
“Some police cars for Aaron to play with while he was there,” she says.
And now, ahead of his third major procedure, he’s joining the squad. Redmond Police swore him in Thursday night.
“They’ve shown him you can be whatever you want to be and that’s why today is so special, because it’s something that he may never get to do, and so they’re making sure that this happens for him and it’s so incredible,” Ashley says.
His blinding smile and big heart — showing the world his fighting spirit.
As for Ashley, she will try to work as much as she can remotely while Aaron is recovering in Seattle. Her husband is already taking double shifts at his job.
If you can help, a GoFundMe has been set up at this link.