STATESVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Ethan Gibbs in Statesville is recovering from a brain tumor. His story is one of those where one day life is fine, and a week later his family is wondering what happened.
On November 20th, 2015, Ethan started vomiting. His parents assumed it was a stomach bug. They gave him the weekend to recover.
Now, check out his next week >>
Monday: Felt fine and went to school.
Tuesday: Started throwing up again.
Wednesday: Urgent Care gave him medicine for strep throat.
Thursday: Nothing was better.
Friday: Nothing was better.
Saturday: Nothing was better.
Sunday: Felt sleepy, dizzy and odd.
Monday: Mom took him back to Urgent Care.
This time they referred him to the ER in Statesville.
The ER sent him to Brenner's Children's Hospital.
A CAT scan found a mass. Surgery was quickly scheduled. The brain tumor was soon diagnosed as an immature teratoma.
Weeks later, Christmas Day, Ethan celebrated his 7th birthday.
"You just never know," said his dad Nathaniel Gibbs, a former Army Medic. "My experience told me he should've had improvement after a few days of medicine and when he didn't get better, we thought we should get him to the hospital."
He's still in recovery phase. A second MRI is set for April 19th which should help his family plan next steps.
For now, Ethan is at home, in the homebound program through Sharon Elementary. His dad says he's re-adapting to things and his older brother Brayden keeps him constantly laughing.
His parents keep up the #EthansEagles Facebook page >> https://www.facebook.com/ethanseagles15/?fref=ts
"Ethan's doing well," his dad told me over the phone. "He has headaches and nausea that comes and goes, and problems remembering new things. But he's slowly getting better. We are hoping for a full recovery."
Lots of people are hoping the same thing – just check out some of the great messages on his Facebook page.
"There are amazing people out there who still care about others and not just themselves," said Nathaniel. "We thank them all. We also tell everyone we now meet how much you just never know. Hug those you love, especially your kids, because you just never know.'"
Great advice for a random Thursday.