A metro couple was told their son wouldn’t survive birth. 3 ½ years later Kingston continues to beat the odds, and inspire his family’s business.
“Even before he was born we just couldn't mentally wrap our minds around what was going to happen or what was going to go on or how our lives were going to be,” said Wil VanderKallen, Kingston’s dad.
When doctors said their second son would most likely not survive, Terril and Wil VanderKallen braced themselves for the worst.
“After 2 and half minutes he finally took his first breath on his own, it was just a little bit constant prayer right there,” said Wil, remembering the day Kingston was born.
“He was born cleft lip, nose pallet, blind, deaf, and then he had some issue with his diaphragm. He`s not able to eat so he has a feeding tube,” said Kingston’s mom, Terril.
The doctors said that's how it would always be for Kingston, but once again he proved everyone wrong.
Kingston is still 100 percent blind and legally deaf, but now he's walking and communicating.
“There have been so many things he’s just come out and done and he’s just put us in awe,” said Wil.
His parents said one of the biggest accomplishments was the day he responded to music. When he was a baby he would scream and cry all night, and nothing could calm him. One night his parents set music by his crib. He was instantly calm. To this day music helps him, and he even asks for it through sign language.
“He`s brought our family together,” Terril said of Kingston, “We've had to be strong for each other. That`s pretty much all we have. Unconditional love you know that you just have for somebody that relies on you, you just do whatever it takes, whatever it takes to make sure they are taken care of.”
Taking care of Kingston is a joy but it’s also time consuming and expensive.
“All of our money goes to whatever he needs,” said Terril, “He’s in constant need of different toys, and his formula is extremely expensive because he has a prescription formula.” Plus, Kingston is on 15 to 16 different medications he needs to take daily. “His supplies, he’s got tubing to feed him. Just a lot of stuff.”
Times got even tougher when Terril lost her job and they became a one income household. Once again, through their son, they found their answer. It’s called “Thoughts With Dots.” Custom pieces of leather are hand painted by local artists, and then transcribed with personalized messages in American Braille. It’s a way to express personalized words of encouragement, strength, and faith.
“It’s something you can wear. Nobody knows what it says or what it means except for me and it’s great that way,” said Wil.
The business is still in its early stages but the VanderKallen's aren't worried anymore about what the future holds, because if there's one thing Kingston has taught them, it's that anything is possible.
The money from thought with dots doesn't just go to Kingston’s current care; Kingston owns part of the company, so he’s earning towards a sound financial future.
CLICK HERE to learn more about "Thoughts With Dots."