Nicole lives in Akron, Ohio with her husband Jerry and their 3 sons Jayden, Justin and Jaxon. Since she was very young, Nicole has had an interest in working with people. Because of her interests, she earned a BA in psychology and then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She has been a mental health therapist, doing school based therapy, since 2004. She is currently working with middle school students, who suffer severe behavioral issues, in an alternative school.
Jaxon had his first seizure twelve hours after he was born, due to Hemimegalencephaly (thought to be due to an inutero stroke at the time). At 5 months, his seizures became uncontrolled and he was having around 15 tonic clonic seizures a day. Nicole and Jerry took Jaxon to Cleveland Clinic, where they quickly diagnosed him with left hemimegalencephaly. They were then told he would most likely need a hemispherectomy to control his seizures. When he failed his 5th seizure medication at 8 months of age, they decided to go forward with the surgery.
Dr. Bingaman performed surgery at 8 ½ months. Nicole remembers, “We struggled with this decision because Jaxon looked so “normal” on the outside, but knew it was only a matter of time before we would see the decline”. Jaxon was in the hospital for 10 days and had day treatment for 26 weeks following the surgery. He continues to receive PT, OT, Speech therapy, aqua therapy, vision therapy and orientation and mobility. He learned to walk at 20 months and has around 20 words that he uses.
Nicole is completely thrilled with his progress, and is dedicated to helping him be as successful as he can. Nicole says, “He has an awesome charismatic personality that people seem constantly drawn to. We are very proud of our little miracle and hopeful that he will do great things”.