Robert Phillips is a very special young man. He was a very intelligent person and a very quiet and caring person. He excelled academically and was passionate about things that he believed and loved. Robbie was an artist. Robbie loved Magic. He learned how to play piano at an early age, and was taking guitar lessons at Main Street Music and More. Joseph Vance was his instructor. Robbie hunted and fished, and was a boy scout. Words can’t describe the special qualities that make us who we are, or describe the love that we feel for our loved ones.
On November 6th 2008 at the home of his grandparents, Robert Phillips attempted to commit suicide by hanging before school. He was found with no pulse and revived. Robbie had severe anoxic brain injury as a result of the hanging and was not expected to live through the next 7 to 10 days. He spent the first several days at Norton Children's Hospital in a coma like state, and on the seventh day he opened his eyes but had limited response to stimulus. Robbie received a Tracheostomy procedure and a Gastrostomy-Jejunostomy Tube (G J Tube) for feeding and administering medicines.
Robbie was transferred to Frasier Rehab for the last three weeks of his medical care so that our family could learn how to provide the basic care for our son. He spent approximately 7 weeks in the hospitals and was released days before Christmas in 2008 without home nursing care. Debbie Phillips (Robbie’s Mom) became the doctor, nurse, and mother. Many family members assisted in providing the day to day medical care for Robbie. The family paid for night time nursing care out of their own pocket because it is not something that insurance providers include in their policies.
Sometime in March 2009 Robbie began to follow basic commands and eventually took two steps! The very next day Robbie was struggling to breathe and was quickly rushed to the hospital, he had developed aspiration pneumonia. This was a major setback for Robbie. He lost half of his body weight as he struggled to live. He went from 122 lbs. to only 66 lbs. He was released from the hospital nearly three and a half weeks later, this time with 24 hour in-home nursing care. Though he had excellent nursing care, the following year proved to be a difficult one. On average, Robbie seemed to spend two weeks of every two months in the hospital for various problems. Most problems were resolved when Robbie received a Nissen Fundoplication procedure in 2009 which relieved much of the digestive complications one experiences when they receive tube feeding. Soon afterward, he was switched to a Gastrostomy tube (g tube) and regained his body weight.
He is in great health now, but still suffers from severe anoxic brain injury which has left him 100% dependent upon medical care. Robbie has received Autologous Adipose (using fat cells from his own body) Stem Cell procedures at the Stem Cell Rejuvenation Center in Phoenix Arizona. The goal of the procedure is to regenerate brain cells and restore brain function.
Robbie has shown a positive response to the stem cell treatments.