Well, Justin wants to be like his dad and his dad was an awesome roper. His grandpa was a roper too – so it’s what the family does. Justin rode since he was little. In fact
that boy wore boots and chaps and spurs and a hat. I knew he was going to be a
cowboy. Oh I love it. It’s a big rush. When you’re roping you have three minds, You have the calf, your horse and you have you. And you have to get all them three minds to perform fast. and it’s amazing Justin was athletic, healthy. You would think nothing was wrong with him at all. The summer between my 8th grade year
and my freshman year of high school, I went in for a routine physical and she said my blood pressure was getting higher and higher through the years and this time it was significantly higher. They just knew his blood pressure was
high and when he exerted himself it would get higher. So they said you can’t do anything and it was hard for Justin and it was hard for all of us. I couldn’t play sports, run, rodeo, They said I could have a stroke just because my blood pressure was so high. I probably went to six or seven different
doctors and everyone of them said they couldn’t figure out anything wrong and then I went in for a ultrasound and they found that my aorta was constricted
right where my kidneys connected. They told us that Justin’s got this midaortic syndrome which is super rare and it’s a tough surgery to do. That was scary, that was really scary. It was like nobody wanted to touch him. It’s like no, he can just sit on the couch the rest of his life and I was like well you don’t know my son. Mom was always on the internet looking and reading on stuff and then we found Boston Children’s and they had a team that specifically studied midaortic syndrome. Finding Boston Children’s was really awesome for us because it was the answer to prayer for our son. When we got the hospital everybody was really nice and welcoming and made you feel like you were at home over there and that was really cool. He had lots of tests done and then that morning, the next morning they took him into surgery. About two hours into surgery doctor Kim comes out and wants to take Mark and I into this separate room. He said well we found this artery this —
I think it’s called the mesenteric artery and it’s grown and it’s enlarged and we
think we can use in instead of this gore-tex graft, what do you think? When he first came out, I thought the worst and when he told us about it I immediately said you know, this is God’s plan. And so we looked at each other and decided to use Justin’s own artery instead of the gore-tex. I think it was just kind of like one of them situations, it’s just like a light bulb goes on almost like, man this — this could work really good. And he was excited about it even afterwards, he was super excited. Justin was in the hospital for about three weeks and we stayed in Boston for about a month and a half. It was hard, I was scared. But after talking to doctor Kim and hearing how the surgery went, we were able to just… *exhale* Yeah. After I was discharged from the
hospital, I was ecstatic. I was walking good, I felt really good and I was excited to get out and just breathe fresh air and eat some real food. And we went, walked around the North End and that some good stuff. Went from the hospital grilled cheese to chicken parmesan in the North End, it was good. When we got back from Boston, they gave us, I think it was eight weeks that we had to stay at rest, you know and you couldn’t count the days fast enough. The first day, the day right of — me and dad were out in the arena. I roped this calf and we hustled back over to the blood-pressure machine and took my blood pressure right out in the middle of the area so we could prove it to the doctor that I’m fine. My blood pressure was perfect, just how it should be and it was a awesome feeling. It’s a miracle to see Justin doing what he’s doing now. There’s no more threat of having a
stroke. Now he’s doing everything that he wants to do. So it’s — it’s pretty amazing. Sometimes we forget what we’ve gone
through with this because he’s — he’s living a normal life. Now I’m a senior and graduating and going to college on rodeo scholarship. I’m capable of anything now it feels like, I just got to put in the work to be the best and thanks to my doctors for everything. It’s truly amazing.