Young Davey Fortner is facing at least one more surgery later this month for his laryngomalacia, but this weekend, despite racing season being concluded for over two weeks, the gates of the Cleveland Speedway were opened for a special ride of a lifetime for the little Ooltewah race fan.
A-Hobby Champion Robbie Greene brought his #00 "Air Pro Heating & Cooling, Mitch's Sports Bar, Afordible Bodies, Stealth Racing Carburetors, Gene's Racing Parts, KC Racing Graphics" sponsored racecar to the track, and met with race director Chad Elliott Saturday afternoon to give Davey a surprise he'll not soon forget.
Davey was diagnosed when he was six months old with laryngomalacia after experiencing severe difficulties breathing and eating. Laryngomalacia is a congenital condition in which a child has a malformed larynx (voicebox) with soft, floppy tissue that can block the airway. It's relatively common and, for most children, it doesn't cause any serious difficulties and resolves itself by the time they are toddlers.
For a few children like Davey, it causes significant problems that can be life-threatening. When Davey was diagnosed, the doctors predicted that he would never be able to swallow solid foods and would have to live a limited life. But he's five now, and, with the grace of God and the medical team at the Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, he's proven everybody wrong.
His faith, determination, and joy are an inspiration to everybody who has ever met him. Unless one knew his history, they would never think that this bright, talkative, energetic, creative, occasionally mischievous little boy has suffered through more seizures, respiratory difficulties, GI issues, and the accompanying testing, surgeries, and procedures than most adults.
Davey once again is facing at least one, and possibly two, surgeries for his condition. He's also going into surgery with a broken arm that he got while pretending to be of all things... "a racecar!" For more on Davey follow his progress at Prayers for Davey on Facebook and follow racer Robbie Greene.
Robbie Greene and Davey Fortner