‘Definition of a miracle:’ Tallahassee mother thankful for her son’s inspirational fight
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - As many wrap up a Thanksgiving weekend surrounded by friends and family, a Tallahassee couple spent the holiday separated.
Jared Lasseter was in Florida, while his wife Kami enjoyed Turkey Day by her 17-month old son’s bedside in an Ohio hospital. Spending holidays separated is becoming an unwanted tradition for them.
Landry Logan Lasseter was born in June 2021 and has spent nearly every day since in a hospital battling bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a chronic lung condition in newborns.
Despite a journey she describes as “very, very scary,” Kami said she has plenty to be thankful for as she reflects this holiday weekend.
“He’s at the top of my thankful list,” she said. “I’m the proudest mom, human, person on this planet because not a lot of kids would fight this hard.”
Landry was born premature, at 28 weeks and five days. What had been a normal pregnancy quickly became anything but.
“My whole world just came crashing down,” Kami said.
She said doctors in Tallahassee told the couple their son had just a slim chance to live.
“They said I don’t know if your kid is going to make it,” she said. “My husband just lost it. I didn’t know what to think because it didn’t seem to be real.”
Landry spent his early days at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, often on 100-percent oxygen.
“He was fighting for his life constantly,” she said.
In March 2022, the family received much needed good news. After seeking a second opinion, Landry was accepted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
That hospital has a specialized ward for BPD, with a self-described 99 percent survival rate.
“I think that Nationwide has literally saved my child’s life,” Kami said.
In the eight months since, he’s had good days and bad days. But the family is focusing on what seems like promising progress.
“He is smiling nonstop, he has emotions I haven’t seen in a very very long time,” she said. “He is just a happy baby, all he wants to do is be snuggled.”
Still, the journey has been taxing on a mother forced to leave her world in Tallahassee behind, and for a father staying behind to work to pay bills.
Kami said Jared gets up to Ohio every few months, limited because of expensive flight costs.
“He provides for us as much as he can,” she said.
A growing support group on Facebook is a lifeline for the couple, feeling the love.
“I don’t know what I would do without all that support,” she said. “Without it I would have to leave Landry in Ohio and come back to Florida and work. And I don’t think I would’ve been able to do it.”
She said it’s too soon to know when Landry might be well enough to finally go home and start a life in the Big Bend. The winding road likely still has a few twists left in it.
In the meantime, Kami has learned just how strong a mother she can be.
“I didn’t realize how much love I had in my self,” she said.
And in return, she said she has been blessed with a warrior.
“He’s the definition of a miracle,” she said.
Lasseter has a GoFundMe page set up to help aid finances as the couple navigates an uncertain future. Kami is also designing merchandise, complete with Landry’s handprint and footprint, to help raise funds.
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