Calming a crying baby is not always the easiest thing to do as a parent—but some things make it even harder.
For Samantha and Kevin Jolicoeur, they found it extremely difficult. Their infant, Gideon, always seemed to be upset, until one day Kevin decided to try blowing raspberries on his son’s cheek.
The Jolicoeurs knew something was wrong when Gideon was born.
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Samantha told PEOPLE that her son had “several oddities” that left doctors confused, and it wasn’t until Gideon was seven months old that they learned he had a rare genetic disorder, Peroxisomal Biogenesis Disorder.
PBD, “among other complications,” left Gideon “legally blind and severe-to-profoundly deaf.”
Doctors were unable to figure out what was wrong with Gideon.
Prior to his diagnosis, Samantha recalled that Gideon was upset a lot, and it seemed as if it was because he didn’t know what was going on.
“So one of the things my husband decided one day to do to try to calm him down was to blow raspberries on his cheek … My husband was just trying to find a way to calm him down and it was hilarious because every time he did it, Gideon would stop crying,” she told PEOPLE.
After diagnosing Gideon with PBD, doctors told the Jolicoeurs he wouldn’t live long.
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According to the Global Foundation for Peroxisomal Disorders, many children do not survive their first year with this diagnosis. However it is possible for some to survive into their teens.
PBD affects “all major systems of the body” and is often characterized by developmental delay and severe craniofacial abnormalities.
Although their son was deaf and blind, they found he responded favorably to touch.
It wasn’t until four months after the couple first filmed Kevin blowing raspberries on their son’s cheeks that they learned of Gideon’s diagnosis.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘My son’s going to die and I can’t do anything … There’s really nothing we could do,'” she told PEOPLE.
That was nearly five years ago.
On January 18th, Gideon celebrated his 5th birthday.
Over the years they learned that tactile stimulation is very important for their son.
In 2017, an adorable video of Gideon riding in the family car with the window down caught some attention.
In the video description, the family describes that Gideon is a fan of “anything that vibrates,” but particularly the water and the wind.
Knowing that their son liked the breeze, they decided to see how he liked riding with the window down. He liked it, a lot.
The Jolicoeurs are unsure how much more time they have with Gideon, but are enjoying every moment.
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Although no one knows for sure how long Gideon will live, the Jolicoeurs continue to live their lives with a happy heart.