Though this boy has a condition that caused him to be “floppy,” his mother finds comfort in seeing his beautiful smile and knowing that he has a best friend who will always be by his side.
On Oct. 22, 2013, Kourtney Knapp, a mother from Des Moines, Iowa, gave birth to her fourth son, Kai. Much to her surprise, and contrary to what the doctors had anticipated, Kai had no cleft lip or palate. But still, Kai looked different.
“He was just a rag doll—he didn’t seem to have hardly any muscles or fat on him,” Knapp wrote for Love What Matters.
A battery of medical tests soon ensued to identify what was wrong with Kai. Yet, doctors weren’t able to figure out what.
“We did genetic testing on Kai when he was a few months old, but they said it was still just a chromosome 7 inversion. Nothing else to it!” Knapp wrote.
Though everything else was fine, Kai always seemed “floppy” and felt like a “rag doll” while being held. He also had an extremely hard time gaining weight and was hospitalized twice.
Eventually, doctors found out he had hypotonia, a condition marked by low muscle tone. Despite being different from other babies, Knapp took comfort in the fact that Kai always had a bright smile on his face.
“His smile was so infectious that it made everyone in our household smile, even throughout all of the challenges we were facing,” Knapp wrote.
A year later on Oct. 21, 2014, Kai’s cousin and best friend, Cecilee, came into the world.
Cecilee, with her beautiful long hair and big brown eyes, captured Kai’s heart. Since then, the two cousins have been inseparable.
“When Cecilee would start walking, Kai was behind her; when Cecilee started running, Kai was telling her to hang on for him,” Knapp shared. “She was his true motivation.”
Having birthdays just one day apart, Kai and Cecilee celebrated together every year. Of course, Knapp, a photographer of Kourtney’s Klick Photography, never missed the opportunity to snap birthday photos of the two.
The best part is Cecilee doesn’t see Kai differently because of his condition.
“When I see these two together it makes my heart so happy to know that after all the worry, the doctors, the tests and the uncertainty, to see how big his smile is and how loved he is in life,” Knapp wrote. “I know with that love and with that smile, and Cecilee by his side, Kai will be OK.”
Kai will certainly be fine because he has a loving family and a best friend who will always be there for him no matter what happens.
Keep smiling, Kai! Your smile is the greatest gift of all.
Meet the sweet little girl who sleeps an hour and a half every night