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Brett was first diagnosed with 22q when he was 9 years old. Although before hand, there were many things that indicated he was going to have difficulties. At 3 months of age, Brett required his first open-heart surgery to help a rare heart defect called Truncus Arteriosis. During his recovery in the NICU, he had 5 episodes of cardiac arrest due to pulmonary hypertension In order to stabilize his blood pressure, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles used nitric oxide gas. This was a recent discovery at the time for children when a conventional hyperinflation mask fails to work. With this came a lack of oxygen, for an unknown amount of time. To us, we thought this explained some of the many other things that just popped up out of nowhere and the difficulty learning simple tasks along with his very delayed speech. He started speech 3 times a week just before he was three and had physical therapy to help with other milestones that he was behind on. As he entered kindergarten, it became apparent that he was experiencing learning issues as well as continued speech difficulty, which involved speech therapy and RSP education in school. With a few different ENT appointments, we were finally directed back to a ENT at CHLA. Once he was diagnosed with 22q, we discovered that he would need throat surgery to help his palate and improve his speech. This improved Brett’s confidence when speaking with others. Brett also developed electrical rhythm problems with his heart, which were helped by cardiac ablations. As has been the case throughout his formative years in school, Brett has struggled with classes such as math and reading comprehension. Brett works very hard on everything he does. No matter how many times he has to retake a class, he continues to try. But with struggles, Brett has found his strengths and blessings. Brett, at a very early age, showed his building abilities with things such as Legos and blocks among other things. Brett loved collecting maps from museums, parks and zoos to bring home to build them out of cardboard or whatever he could build with. Brett was also quite the baseball fan and enjoyed going to games. It was through these experiences that he started to build paper models of the stadiums. As he grew older, he became very good at constructing baseball stadiums that were amazing. Eventually, he became interested in the architecture of these structures and is taking some classes in a local community college. But, there is no path for model making and is only handling one class at a time. Building his models takes patience and persistence. Brett’s stadium models draw the attention of family, friends and baseball fans. He is just starting an Instagram account to show his models and will be adding to this as time allows.
Please join his efforts by following him on Instagram @archmodelsbybrett. To read more about Brett and his fascinating models, check out this article.