When Ty Bryant was born a year ago Saturday, his prospects were not good.

When Ty Bryant was born a year ago Saturday, his prospects were not good.

He was just one pound, one ounce and 11 ½ inches long at birth and within days his weight had dropped to under a pound.

He was born so premature that his organs had not developed sufficiently to sustain his life so he survived on a ventilator for nearly three months.

Those early moments were nerve-wracking, his dad Josh said, when doctors had to perform CPR.
“I vividly remember them giving him chest compressions with two fingers.  It was scary, but to see him now over what he was is nothing short of a miracle, that’s for sure.  He weighs 13 pounds now.  Not many kids can say they gained 12 pounds in their first year.”

Ty’s progress has been remarkable.

“The last week or so he has been able to come off the oxygen although he still needs it at night,” Bryant said.  “The biggest thing now is he still is working on his eyesight.  He had four laser eye surgeries because he had a lot of bleeding.  He could have been blind.”

Ty also is beginning to act more like a normal one-year-old.

“Now he’s starting to mimic people,” dad said.  “About a month ago he discovered his hands.  It’s just amazing.”

Ty was born at Mercy Southwest in Bakersfield.  Two weeks later he was rushed to Kaiser Sunset Hospital in Hollywood where he remained for nearly four months.

He returned to Mercy Southwest, but had to go back to Kaiser Sunset for a time.

“They worried about his lung development and whether his eyes were going to develop,” Bryant said.  “One of the biggest hurdles was that a lot of kids born that prematurely develop cerebral palsy.  So far we haven’t seen any signs of that, which is good.”

The lengthy hospital stays were hard on the family.

Josh and wife Alicia were able to stay in a Ronald McDonald House.

“That was a big help,” Josh said. “The level of care he got was excellent.”

The Bryant’s family and friends pitched in too.

A fund-raising effort was launched to help the family pay bills while Ty was in the hospital.
Josh called it “a very humbling experience. I know how generous the people of Taft can be because of how they came through for Billy.”

Billy is U.S. Olympic steeplechaser Billy Nelson, who competed in the 2008 Beijing games.
Bryant and several other friends and former classmates of the Olympian raised money so Nelson’s family could attend the Games. 

The Bryants found themselves on the other end of that kind of charitable effort, and they are forever grateful.

But most, they are thankful for Ty’s remarkable recovery.