He is the sunshine of his families' life with a smile that can light up a whole room. 10-year-old Landon Sullivan was born on May 30, 2008 at only 25 weeks gestation at 2 lbs and 13 inches long. His mom, Tiffany Sullivan, never imagined there would be a chance he would never come home. “After Landon was born I just remember thinking I don’t even have a car seat. How am I going to get my baby home” said Sullivan. “ It never occurred to 20-year-old me that it would be months before Landon came home.”

Shortly after his birth, Landon suffered a Grade 3 brain hemorrhage. He required a major surgery to place a “shunt” into his head to drain the fluid that was now causing his head to swell. For weeks Landon had to have this fluid removed with a large needle until he gained enough weight and was strong enough to survive the surgery. “On June 21, 2008, I held Landon for the first time. He was almost one month old,” said Sullivan. “Then on July 30th Landon had his shunt surgery. He came home from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock on August 8, 2008, a whole month before his original due date.” 

One night in October 2008 Landon stopped breathing. It was discovered that he was having seizures. The seizures were caused by an infection inside the shunt that had been placed in his head. The doctor said that the seizures would go away when the infection cleared. But for Landon, they didn’t stop and he was then diagnosed with Epilepsy. “As Landon continued to grow we noticed he wasn’t meeting his milestones. He would rarely move his legs and he wasn’t progressing like we knew he should,” said Sullivan. “When he was 2 years old he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.”

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child’s brain is under development. Cerebral Palsy primarily affects body movement and muscle coordination. Though Landon’s parents are unsure if the disorder was caused by the brain hemorrhage or seizures, they were still hopeful in their son’s journey of healing. In 2016 Landon’s right hip began to dislocate and the family traveled every six months to Arkansas Children’s Hospital hoping with each trip, the x-rays would show healing.  “The muscles in Landon’s legs were so tight that they began pulling on the hip joints,” said Sullivan. “The pulling on the joints causes dislocation. While this is common in Cerebral Palsy, it was extremely scary for us.”

On April 4, 2018, Landon had bilateral hip surgery and cannot walk. He is bound to a hospital bed with braces on his legs to keep his legs apart while his hips heal. The Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle club, a local motorcycle club in Stuttgart, will be hosting a benefit for Landon on Saturday, May 12 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in downtown Stuttgart on Main & 6th Street across from the Stuttgart Police Department. “We are going to have good food, music and a bounce house for the kids,” said Punisher’s Vice-President, Joe “Scooter” Gignac. “Motorcycle clubs from all over will be here so come on out and join us. It’s for a great cause.”

The family of Landon is very grateful for the event and the support received during this journey. “Our journey with Landon has been nothing short of crazy, unpredictable and scary but it has also been worth it,” said Sullivan. “Our lives would never be the same if we hadn’t been blessed with Landon.” Sullivan admits to worrying, crying and sleepless nights but is then reminded of how far in the journey they have come and who has given them the strength to get there. “Sometimes we fall down and begin feeling sorry for ourselves,” said Sullivan. “But then we remember everything the Lord has done for Landon.”