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Dad whose son was given a year to live as a baby survived until he was 24

Emma Guinness

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Dad whose son was given a year to live as a baby survived until he was 24

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

An inspirational young man who was given just a year to live when he was born defied the odds to survive until he was 24.

Andrew Eveloff, 24, wanted to finish college and become a journalist and that remained his aim right up until two days before his death in December 2016.

Andrew was still following his dreams until the end of his life. Credit: Scott Eveloff
Andrew was still following his dreams until the end of his life. Credit: Scott Eveloff

The aspiring journalist was keen to study despite suffering from congenital muscular dystrophy that saw him become Kansas City's youngest power wheelchair owner when he was two.

He made history in the city again by becoming the youngest service dog owner at the age of seven.

On the sixth anniversary of his death, his dad Scott decided to share his amazing story with the world to raise awareness of the condition - and remind people that life really is what you make it.

Scott told the Metro: "Though my son is no longer here, he has set the bar for my family and I to live life as fully as possible. To appreciate life - with the proper perspective on it."

As reported by the NHS, congenital muscular dystrophy is a genetic condition that is part of a wider group that causes muscles to weaken and ultimately results in increased levels of disability.

Scott explained that Andrew was initially misdiagnosed with Type 1 of the illness, which typically has a life expectancy of just one to two years.

However, it later emerged that he, in fact, had congenital muscular dystrophy, which, though still terminal, comes with a life expectancy of 10 to 30 years.

Scott said: "Being virtually assured that Andrew was terminal, we resolved to relieve any suffering in his short life.

"We made the agonising decision to remove his feeding tube and let nature take its course. We even started planning for his funeral. As with so many other inexplicable instances throughout his 24 years, though, Andrew not only defied these predictions - he defied death."

There were a number of times when Andrew 'defied' death. Credit: Scott Eveloff
There were a number of times when Andrew 'defied' death. Credit: Scott Eveloff

Scott then went on to explain that there were a number of instances where Andrew's life could have ended but didn't.

He explained: "At 13, we were eating dinner at Disney World Florida when Andrew suffered his first seizure.

"I'm a doctor and had to personally perform CPR while waiting for medics.

"He survived, coming out of it with as much personality and sharp wit as he'd always demonstrated."

The doting dad said that while he never explicitly told his son his life expectancy, he was aware that he was 'lucky' to be alive each day.

But despite being terminal, he still lived life to the fullest and did everything you'd expect from a growing young person.

"He attended school, went on vacations, bowled, attended baseball and football games, sledded in the winter, and picnicked and picked berries and apples in warmer weather," Scott said.

"He wanted nothing more than [to be] a normal kid. Not 'the kid in the wheelchair', but the kid who loved superhero movies, telling jokes, and watching his favourite TV shows such as South Park, Modern Family, and Law & Order SVU."

Andrew never wanted people to treat him differently. Credit: Scott Eveloff
Andrew never wanted people to treat him differently. Credit: Scott Eveloff

Scott explained that it was this 'can do' attitude that helped him process Andrew's eventual death, as his sheer lust for life was infectious.

"I never asked myself 'why us?' because I was too busy living my life as Andrew’s dad, making memories with him that would last a lifetime," he said.

You can find out more about muscular dystrophy here.

Topics: Real Life

Emma Guinness
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