Courtesy of my daughter
The Frost Family consists of Whitney (mom), Jason (dad), Natalie (16), Riley (8) and Harrison (6).
Slightly homicidal and obsessed with crime shows, Riley is a
handful. She vocalizes when she's happy and heavy sighs when she isn't. She
loves chaos and going out whenever she can. Her hair and nails always look
amazing thanks to her nurse.
Harrison is the sweetest boy you'll ever meet. He's head
over heels in love with his nurse and his favorite place is his bed. He doesn't
like leaving the house but enjoys fart noises and cuddles. He is the most laid
back kid in the world.
By the time Harrison was almost a year old, Riley and
Harrison had been diagnosed with a very rare terminal disease called infantile
Neuroaxonal dystrophy. Because of this they both received Make-A-Wish trips and
both chose Disney, Riley going at Christmas in 2017 and Harrison going in
Halloween of 2018.
Whitney Frost has always done her best to remain strong for her kids, but it certainly hasn't been easy. Two of her three children have been living with a rare genetic disorder known as infantile neuroaxonal dystrophy, or INAD, which she regularly chronicles on , where she's amassed more than 1.7 million followers. But Whitney has shared an unexpected and tragic update: her son Harrison quietly died at the age of 6 on New Year's Day...
According to a GoFundMe page recently set up for the family, Riley was the first to be diagnosed with INAD in 2016 after losing the ability to walk, talk, or even crawl. Though Harrison was two years behind her and not showing any symptoms at the time, doctors encouraged Whitney and her husband to have him tested, since the condition is genetic.
Sadly, Harrison was also diagnosed with INAD just shortly after his first birthday.
"It was the worst day ever — finding out that the two youngest children had INAD," the GoFundMe page explains.
In time, Whitney's reality as a mother of three would change dramatically. In addition to raising her now 17-year-old daughter Natalie (who does not have INAD), she suddenly became a special needs mom responsible for the increasing demands of her youngest children's care.
Because INAD gradually impacts a person's motor skills and voluntary muscle function, both Harrison and Riley eventually became bedbound and reliant on oxygen machines.
Still, the most heartbreaking part about INAD is what it does to a person's life expectancy.
In fact, most patients don't get to live past the age 12 — and that's if they're lucky.
In Harrison's case, he died at home before he could even live to see his seventh birthday.
In a shared on Saturday, Whitney revealed that her boy was surrounded by family when he assured her followers that he "went quickly" and "did not suffer."
"We are devastated," Whitney admitted in the video captions. "But glad he's no longer in pain."
The 6-year-old had recently battled sepsis following a urinary tract infection.
According to People, his mom had previously shared a positive update about his health status, reporting that he was doing well despite his recent setback. But on Saturday, it appears that the 6-year-old's health took a turn for the worse.
Over the past few days, hundreds of comments have flooded the grieving mom's post.
“From all of us … I think it’s safe to say we are collectively crying with you," wrote one . "Never doubt what a wonderful life you gave him. It was full of love."
“I am so sorry," added another. "I’m a silent viewer, but my heart is with you in these heavy times. No words can life the burden.
“I’m picturing Harrison running and playing in Heaven," said someone else. "No more pain and sickness.”
“Be free, Harrison!" wrote yet another follower.
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Before her son's death, Whitney checked in to thank everyone for their love and support.
But sadly, she had some more upsetting news to share: Riley isn't doing well now, either.
Struggling through tears, Whitney explained that her 8-year-old is currently suffering from a gastrointestinal bleed, a fever, and other complications tied to her illness, and that , things don't look good.
"Her stomach contents are almost black, so that's something that we're worried about," the mother said. "She also has crackling sounds in her lungs so she's had to sleep on her side all day so that she can breathe better."
Whitney has continued to update her followers, who are constantly checking in to make sure she's doing OK.
In one update, she said that friends and family have come over to help watch Riley in the wake of Harrison's death, so the exhausted mother can get some much-needed rest. She also shared that Riley seems to be doing "OK" though her health still seems touch-and-go.
The rest of the family, however, is struggling.
“I don’t know what to say … We’re not doing OK, we’re just coping," said Whitney. "And we’re not all coping in a very healthy way right now, which is fine."
As for Harrison, Whitney says she expects his funeral to take place on January 15. She also shared that the family donated his brain to a research hospital in hopes that it will help doctors better understand the debilitating genetic disorder.
In the meantime, friends, family, and followers are continuing to leave messages of encouragement on her page, and donate to the Frost family's GoFundMe campaign, which has raised more than $25,000 toward their $50,000 goal.