Story of Healing

Jonathan Shaw

Orleans Parish


"With each new day, he smiles through his struggles and learns to overcome. "

At age 2, Jonathan Shaw, Jr., has already had to face a lifetime of challenges. Yet with each new day, he smiles through his struggles and learns to overcome.

Jonathan’s mother, Briana, had sensed that all was not right with her unborn baby. Although there were no troubling identifiable indications during her pregnancy, she was not surprised when doctors and nurses whisked her baby boy away minutes after birth. But she never expected what came next—a diagnosis that gave her new meaning and focus as she, her husband, Jonathan, and the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital gave their baby a life.

Jonathan was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the development of facial bones and tissue. He spent the next 100 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s Hospital, where pediatric medical experts helped get him through a critical time. Struggling to breathe, Jonathan underwent a tracheostomy at two weeks old. At two months, a G-tube was inserted into his stomach to help him feed. A jaw distraction surgery, another major milestone in Jonathan’s treatment, was performed this past summer to reshape his jaw so he could eventually breathe on his own. Briana and Jonathan Sr. learned to manage his health issues, an ongoing battle with trach and G-tube care, and endless therapy sessions and doctor appointments.

Today, Jonathan is a happy and bright boy who loves the outdoors and playing with his friends. He has quite an ear for music, a talent he will be able to hone by continued use of his hearing aids and further speech therapies over the days and years ahead. Until then, Jonathan will continue to inspire those around him and meet every step in his progress with a smile.