TYLER, Texas (KETK) – They say the best things in life are free, and having a best friend is priceless. Two East Texas families are learning that lesson after their sons were given a 2% survival rate after birth. However, 18 years later they are celebrating a bond that is being well-lived.
For 18-year-old Jordon Granberry, he is used to the same schedule. Like most young men at his age, he loves music, watching tv, and was looking forward to graduation.
However, what sets Jordon apart is something his mother loves.
“When he was 11 months old and I took him to see an eye specialist. As soon as the eye doctor looked into his eye, he said ‘Do you know that your son has neurological issues,’ explained Donna Granberry, Jordon’s mom.
From there, life was never the same. Given a life expectancy of seven years, Jordon had brain damage from a lack of oxygen. He’s legally blind, can’t walk, and needs a feeding tube to get the nutrients he needs.
A normal day in the Granberry household consists of waking up early in the morning with music. Then, diaper changes, walks around the neighborhood, and feedings four times a day.
“I remember wrapping my mind around the fact that when I got home, I was going to have to tell my husband that our son will never play basketball,” said Mrs. Granberry.
Mr. Granberry had dreams of a child just like Michael Jordan, wanting to name his son after the great basketball superstar, while Mrs. Granberry wanted her son to take the name of her father, Don. The two came up with a compromise, Jordon.
Odin Frost lives about 10 minutes away from his best friend Jordon. Odin is a pretty special young man himself.
“There were some complications at the very beginning: he wasn’t breathing proper, they had to put him on a ventilator,” said Tim Frost, Odin’s father.
Mr. Frost describes the moment his wife gave birth as one of the scariest times of his life. She had preeclampsia during labor: “Both Odin and my wife, both almost died during birth. “
Once born, Odin wasn’t breathing properly, immediately put on a ventilator, and was care-flighted to Children’s in Dallas, where he would spend the first month of his life.
“They diagnosed him with autism. He has severe autism, non-verbal, and has a little bit of muscle deficiency,” explained Mr. Frost.
However, he says Odin’s condition shouldn’t fool you because he can rock out with the best of them.
“He loves music, music has always been his language. Since he doesn’t speak he, ever since he was little bitty, I mean he would just rock back and forth,” demonstrated Mr. Frost.
Doctors predicted Odin wouldn’t be able to ever walk, but so far he has beat those odds one step at a time.
“He was determined to walk and do his thing and be as healthy as is today,” said Mr. Frost.
Jordon’s and Odin’s friendship reached a peak, when it came to their high school graduation. Both parents worried about attending the ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He and his best friend Odin, they started school at age 3 together, and my husband and I were hesitant about taking him to the graduation with everything going on but we are so thankful,” explained Mrs. Granberry smiling.
On July 16, both boys attended their graduation ceremony and had the chance to cross the stage and get their diploma.
“Once we got there they did a little slideshow of the boys and there was a picture of the two of them at the age of three, and they just started school and Odin was a little mad in the picture,” remembers Mrs. Granberry, “because Jordon had just bit Odin. Jordon had that innocent look on his face like what did I do, and we just thought it was so cute.”
After seeing the picture, both families came together to recreate the same moment, 15 years later, that has since gone viral.
“They have had this non-verbal communication since they were three. It’s a forever friendship like a brotherhood,” said Tim Frost.
Given a low life expectancy, these two are defying the odds, year after year.
The two have a t-shirt line together, featuring the picture from when they were three. The proceeds go to the medical needs of both families. To purchase a shirt click here.