Blake Sprinkle now can do normal activities of other 6-year-olds on swing sets, playing soccer, basketball, etc., despite various physical ailments in the beginning of his life. His parents, Jarod Sprinkle and Tami Cooper credit the Early Childhood Program in the Edwardsville School District, Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and Hamel Elementary for making the difference in their son to perform these activities and live a normal life.

Jarod Spinkle and Tami Cooper have no better way to describe their 6-year-old son, Blake, than “our little miracle.”

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Despite significant odds, Blake has emerged as a normal, every day child. He has received considerable help from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, Early Education classes in Edwardsville School District 7 and special attention at Hamel Elementary.

Every Christmas and New Year’s Day, both Jarod Sprinkle and Tami Cooper give a lot of thought to how blessed they are to have a perfectly healthy and happy son.

“Blake was born at 29 weeks, very premature,” Cooper said. “When he was born, they instantly took us aside and said there would be some problems but we didn’t know the extent of it. He was transferred from St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis to Cardinal Glennon. His internal organs were oversized and overgrown, including his tongue, kidneys and liver.”

Blake was born Nov. 7, 2008. Jarod and Tami spent the entire Christmas and New Year’s holiday at Cardinal Glennon’s pediatric unit hoping and praying for the best for their young son.

“We were always expecting the worst and waiting for bad news,” Jarod Spinkle said. “It was kind of similar to almost a hospice type of deal waiting for the worst thing to happen. Every day there, it was like you had a weight on you.”

On Jan. 20, 2009, Jarod and Tami were able to take Blake home for the first time. When he was eating he had to have an air tank turned on and wear an air mask. Two days later he “just wasn’t looking right,” his mom said and was struggling to breathe. Blake had to be rushed back to Cardinal Glennon.

“When we took him back, the doctors decided some of his organs became oversized and weren’t functioning properly, so he had to be given a feeding tube,” the parents said. “He had heart surgery done and ultimately they gave him a tracheotomy. We were then there for the most part of seven months. He had six surgeries. He ended up coding three times at the hospital to the point where they called the family in and each time the doctors were pretty sure they were going to lose him.”

In July 2009, Blake was able to come home again and was set up with home nursing. The vent and suction tube were always attached to him with the tracheotomy and the parents started to feel it would be that way the rest of his life. He was in and out of the hospital his first year and finally he was diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedman Syndrome, an overgrowth disorder usually present at birth, characterized by an increased risk of childhood cancer and certain congenital features. Common features are a large tongue, above average birth weight and length, midline abdominal wall defects, ear creases or ear pits and low blood sugar after birth.

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The good news they were told was that by age 8, there was a possibility he might outgrow the problems associated with the illness. Slowly, as he crept closer to age 3 he was miraculously able to lose one piece of machinery sustaining his life after another.

By age 3, Blake started getting better and better. One day, the doctors decided to pull the tracheotomy on him and when it was done, he sat up and played like nothing had ever happened.

The parents said when the tracheotomy was pulled it was unbelievable because it had been tried so many other times and it failed.

Blake started in the Early Childhood Program of Edwardsville School District 7 and eventually at Hamel Elementary and made unbelievable progress. Now, he is reading at a first-grade level while in kindergarten.

During the holiday season, Jarod said he thinks about how amazing it is for him to watch his son play soccer, basketball or everything he can now do.

“We definitely want to hold on tight and realize there are a lot of other families that don’t get this opportunity that are still with Cardinal Glennon or home nursing.”

Doctors forecast a 100 percent recovery for Blake Sprinkle. He undergoes tests on his liver and kidneys about four times a year.

“Other than that, he is an amazing little boy,” Jarod Sprinkle said.

Both Jarod and Tami recognized how important prayer was in the process of Blake's healing. They said people from all over praying for him to get better and it worked.

"To this day, those who did pray refer to him as the miracle baby," Jacob Sprinkle said.

If you have a story idea, contact or call 618-623-5930. Follow danbrannannews on Twitter or Dan Brannan on Facebook.

Jarod Sprinkle with his parents Tami Cooper and Jarod Sprinkle.

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Blake Sprinkle- the Miracle Baby