PARIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee boy who was born with severe birth injuries and diagnosed with a handful of conditions was able to live vicariously on his birthday last October with the help thousands of strangers sending him birthday cards.
Kaiden Houston, unfortunately, passed away last month on April 26 at 5-years-old, just six months after he asked the world for a little help from his friends. His mother, Rachel, operates the 'Hope for Kaiden' Facebook page, which brought attention to Kaiden last fall when over 4,000 people, complete strangers, sent Kaiden birthday cards for his fifth, and final, birthday.
"Some may think he lost his battle but he didn’t. He is now free. No more tubes and no more pain. He won his battle," said the Facebook page in a post the day after Kaiden's passing. "Our hearts are broken and our lives are shattered but we wanted him to be able to make the choice of when to leave his earthly home and he did. I couldn’t be more proud of everything he has accomplished since he was born."
Kaiden, who was born in Tennessee, spent the first six weeks of his life at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville. He was diagnosed with Meconium Aspiration Syndrome, which resulted in a handful of other diagnoses including Microcephaly, Sensorineural hearing loss, Cortical Visual Impairment, and multiple stomach and intestinal issues, among others.
At 8-months-old, Kaiden was diagnosed with heart disease and heart failure. Doctors informed his family he was expected to only live to 5-10-years-old. Throughout his young life, Kaiden was denied a heart transplant on multiple occasions, according to the 'Hope for Kaiden' Facebook page. He was unable to talk, sit, crawl or walk, but he received his nutrition and medications through a feeding tube.
In November 2016, Kaiden's family made the decision to put him into hospice care. He stayed under the care of hospice until his final days, but last July was the start of 'something short of a miracle,' however short lived it was.
"Kaiden's heart is now in normal range," the Hope for Kaiden Facebook page said last year. "We have no idea what caused the heart disease or what cured it, so we do not know if it will ever come back or not."
"His entire life is a miracle. He has proved everyone wrong and continues to do so. That is why [his fifth birthday] means so much to us," wrote the Hope for Kaiden Facebook page in a post.
"His life served a purpose. He had a mission to inspire the world and he did just that. Mission complete."