Levi has overcome more obstacles than most in his six short years of life.

Levi was born at 28-weeks weighing just three pounds. He had a grade 3 bilateral brain bleed, seizures for his first several weeks of life, and surgery at five-weeks old for a shunt to drain fluid from his brain.

Levi was placed for adoption and waited in the hospital for 30 days before God sent him Zach and Emily Harmon. Zach and Emily had been trying to start a family for four years before adopting Levi.

“God used infertility to open our hearts to adoption. It wasn’t a mistake. That’s the main reason God closed my womb for a period of time,” said Emily. The adoption agency was looking for a family who did not have children because they knew Levi would need extra help and care. They wanted someone who could pour into him."

Within hours of Zach and Emily arriving at the NICU, Levi’s health started to improve. He became more alert and started gaining weight. “He was just waiting for someone to love him.”

Levi slept through the night from 6-10 months and then his sleep started to decline.

“We would spend 1-2 hours laying with him to get him to sleep and then he would wake up anywhere from 1-4 times a night. It would take a good 30 minutes to get him back to sleep each time. We did this every day for four years. We were absolutely exhausted,” said Emily.

Levi also started showing extreme behavioral issues and signs of a sensory processing disorder around two and a half years old.

“My whole day was just simply keeping him in control,” said Emily. “There used to be days from the moment he woke up to the moment he went to bed where he would melt down all day. I came to Dr. Rohde and I said we need help.” 

After running tests and determining his B vitamins were low, Dr. Rohde put him on a Vitamin B Complex. “His sleep instantly improved. Dramatically.”

Next, Dr. Rohde checked his neurotransmitters and gut. “His gut was full of parasites, and he had a substantial overgrowth of bacteria. His neurotransmitters were all off,” said Emily.

Dr. Rohde started a detox protocol on Levi but his toxicity was so severe that as he started detoxing he became uncontrollable again. They set the protocol aside for a few months before reducing the dose and trying again.

“The behavior was horrific again, but we decided we were going to push through and slowly increased the dosage. His gut started healing and all the sudden he started being happy all the time, he had energy, and he was calmer. He could walk into a building and not yell. He was smiling and playing. He hyper focuses on things and never played with toys, and now he’s playing with normal toys like a six-year-old would. He’s playing with his sisters. His stools are no longer loose.”

Emily used to say that she had bad days every day with good moments and now she says she has good days every day with bad moments.

“He can handle social events without melting down. We go days and days and days with no meltdowns at all where it used to be like every day was one big melt down all day.”

“We are on month three of a radically different child,” said Emily. “When we started working on his gut, we saw an over-the-top improvement.”

Before seeing Dr. Rohde, Levi was restless, unsettled, had meltdowns daily, in flight and fight mode often, and had intense sleep struggles.

Emily says now he sleeps well, is joyful, peaceful, regulated, calm, and engages with others.

“I’m so glad we got to the root instead of masking the issue.”

At one point they were considering an autism diagnosis. “He’s made so much progress lately people who thought he had autism are starting to say they wouldn’t be too hasty to put a diagnosis on him.”

“God used Dr. Rohde. Dr. Rohde is an instrument in God’s hands and He has given him the wisdom and brains to help us,” said Emily.

If you would like to share your story, we would love to hear from you! Email Laura at renew.deutsch@gmail.com to share.