The 7-year-old likes his bib overalls and a straw hat he can wave as he yells “Yee haw I am a cowboy.” Just like the western High Noon, Jackson Sawyer and his family have faced down a lot things that have tried to kill him.
Sawyer’s mother, Brandy Quesinberry, explained the first calamity which struck at her son as calmly as giving directions.
“The technical term is he had a bi-lateral, grade 4 intraventricular hemorrhage and a pulmonary hemorrhage at the same time when he was 4 days old,” said Quesinberry. “That was the first day we were ever told he would die. We have heard that quite often since then.” This month alone, Sawyers had appointments scheduled in Durham, Chapel Hill, Greensboro and Elkin with six trips set to Winston-Salem (including a minor surgery which will bring his total to 26) and nine to Lexington.
Northside Baptist Church on 866 Fowler Road in Mount Airy will host a Pinto Bean Benefit and Raffle for Sawyer on Aug. 10. Doors open for the event at 4 p.m. and raffles are set to start at 5:30 p.m.
Sawyers’ complex medical history includes cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, chronic lung disease, asthma, sinus tachycardia, epilepsy, attention deficit hypertension disorder (ADHD), motility issues, eating problems due to facial asymmetry, aspiration and choking risk and his vision is impaired.
He is on 13 daily medications including a daily shot along with five as-needed emergency medications. Sawyers has undergone 25 surgeries in his life with four of those being performed in May. His mother said last July, he stopped breathing and was on life support at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital for ten days.
Quesinberry remembers her son’s first life threatening emergency. She had just been discharged from the hospital and had arrived at the home of her mother, Patty Montgomery, when the hospital called. The physician would only say her newborn son was not doing well and needed his mother. When the family arrived they were told Sawyer had lost a lot of blood and they were trying to replace both blood and platelets to keep him alive. She said they told her Sawyers would probably not live past noon that day.
She recounted Sawyer’s first seizure. He was 2-and-a-half years old and it happened right before Christmas. Quesinberry said she looked up in the rear view mirror and realized what was happening. She was near the first exit for Pilot Mountain and so she “went off road a little bit” pulled into a parking lot, gave her son his medications and called 911. She was later told by a paramedic he though Sawyers was going to die en route to the hospital.
“That was the worst night I have ever had,” Quesinberry said. She indicated this is how her son’s entire life has been. She characterized her son as a person “who has never met a stranger,” who is always smiling, who loves big, loud trucks and cars and rides his Power Wheel F-150 until the battery runs out. His favorite music includes contemporary gospel, country and rock and roll. He has learned the dance for the “Cupid Shuffle” as well, likes the Taylor Swift song “You Belong to Me” and reportedly feels that Swift is “one hot mama.”
“I’ve always told everyone from the first minute he could smile he has,” Quesinberry said. “Even when he’s sick he smiles and praises the Lord.”
The benefit and raffle will also feature a silent auction and door prizes. Pinto bean plates are $7 and include pintos, slaw, onions, potato salad, corn bread, a drink and dessert. Hot dog plates offered at the benefit are priced at $6 and $5 and also include chips, a drink and dessert. Items will be available for purchase separately as well.
Interested persons may obtain more information on the benefit by calling Quesinberry at 336-401-3864 or Patty Montgomery at 336-648-3613. All proceeds from the benefit go towards travel expenses and hospital stays for Sawyers.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.