Peyton Daniel Belling was born on September 20, 2011. He had a strong personality with many little quirks. Even at a young age he knew what he wanted, set out to get it, and rarely changed his mind.
Since he was six-months-old, Peyton’s favorite color was orange. Given the choice between blue and green, he would still choose orange.
He loved to watch Thomas and to be outside. He really enjoyed running through the sprinkler and eating cherry tomatoes off the vine. Peyton loved to be naked and while he was swimming, his swim diaper inevitably came off.
Above all, Peyton was born with a kind heart. He was always looking out for his brother and sister.
On January 7, 2015, Peyton was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. After a week of treatment, he was taken home to continue his treatments as an outpatient. On his second night home, Peyton had a seizure. He was rushed to the hospital. He was eventually checked into Riley Hospital after being stabilized at IU Saxony.
Once Peyton arrived at Riley, he had to get a breathing tube and was moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Over the next several days, teams of doctors from several different disciplines worked to diagnose and heal Peyton. Ultimately, it was determined that he had an exceptionally rare bacterial meningitis. The bacteria had gotten into Peyton’s brain due to his severely compromised immune system.
Three days after Peyton had been off of sedation, he remained unconscious. Although this was concerning, there was no reason to believe he would not wake up. A few days later, his pupils became unresponsive to light. The nurse on duty rushed him down for a CT scan. It was discovered that Peyton had suffered a stroke.
Peyton’s chemo treatments had to stop and his immune system came back strong and began fighting off the infection. This immune response caused the inflammation in Peyton’s brain and ultimately led to his strokes.
The following weeks were a whirlwind of close calls and constant fear. There were a series of strokes that began to take a significant toll on Peyton’s brain function.
Although he remained unconscious, as his parents, it was all we could do to just spend as much time as possible standing at his bedside and being with him. We filled our days with his favorite music, movies and books. We talked to him at length about how special he is and the love and support we were getting from friends and family. We allowed close family members and a few friends to visit him.
On February 25, 2015, Peyton took his last breath.
He had a very short, but exceptional life. We do not regret a single day we had with our angel and while we look forward to seeing him again one day, we will never forget him while we remain here on earth.