LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Almost two decades ago an East Texas boy nearly died three times as a reaction to a vaccine which caused aneurysm to rupture in his brain.
While in the hospital, during what was supposed to be an eight-hour surgery in 1998, something unexpected happened --- Jonathan Carrington's aneurysm had disappeared.
Soon being dubbed Lufkin's miracle boy, the tiny baby, now celebrated his 20th birthday. This was something doctors didn't even expect.
But that wasn't his only struggle.
"A lot of people don't know how to battle, how to fight. It's exhausting," said Tammy Carrington, his mother. "It's exhausting just to take care of somebody around the clock and all the medical problems and conditions, much less have to fight just for survival."
For survival, Carrington was finding a permanent solution for her son. After a horrible reaction to a vaccine at 3-days of age--- Jonathan's life turned for worse.
"There have been times when I maybe didn't sleep for three days and he was crying and you don't know what's wrong cause he can't tell you. Even now we have to just guess," Tammy said.
Jonathan suffered a brain aneurysm at the age of 4 months which miraculously later disappeared.
But that left him with a damaged hemisphere. It drastically limited his abilities and required total care with the aid of nurses. At that time, Tammy said Medicaid decided to stop providing the help, which reduced the special care that he needed. That's when they took their fight to the court.
"You were just going in circles. You could never win," Tammy said.
After months of fighting, they won their lawsuit in 2007.Simultaneously, that same year, Jonathan's law also went into effect in September to help thousands of children just like him, his mother said.
"There were times that I know that the Lord doesn't give you any more than you can handle," Tammy said. "There were times that I cried out. I was just exhausted and cried and was like Lord I'm not as strong as you think I am."
She heavily relied on her faith and never gave up the fight. The family chose to find the silver lining --- until more recently another dark cloud loomed days before Jonathan's birthday.
"I never really thought about that but I never thought I was going to lose him not only this July," Tammy said.
Last month, Jonathan went into respiratory failure where his heart rate and blood pressure went down where he couldn't be woken up.
"He was in Intensive care in a ventilator and I really thought I was going to lose him," Tammy said.
The fight for his life began again.
"We need to let people know that miracle boy turns 20. So come on buddy you got to fight. And it was a miraculous turn around," Tammy said.
Even with all the challenges this family has faced, the duo are stronger while persevering in the midst of difficulty.
"You know here's a little boy that had everything going against him, and he didn't give up," Tammy said. "The fight to give him what he needs and nurses, I'm not going to give up either. And that's just it. Don't give up," Tammy said.
Jonathan celebrated his birthday on July 31 by watching three movies with a special group of friends.
An additional tidbit about Jonathan, he loves baseball meeting Sammy Sosa to Craig Biggio. His mom said watching the all American past-time brings a smile his face.