Travis was the third child born to Jamie and Allison (D'Ambrosio) Bones. He made a hasty entrance into this world, arriving naturally a mere 46 minutes after his mother was admitted to Labor and Delivery.
He would soon become known for his megawatt, million-dollar smile. His smile was a constant fixture throughout his entire life. He truly took great delight in having a good time, telling stories, singing, dancing and bringing laughter and fun to every event.
Travis held fierce and passionate opinions about his likes and dislikes. His favorite things included Paw Patrol, fire trucks, horses, the color orange, his Sperry Topsiders, swimming, The Little Gym, baseball, steak, pizza and fruit. He collected friends wherever he went and adored his family, especially Momma, Daddy and his dogs Ike and Abby.
This exuberant child with the megawatt smile was remarkably healthy. Even when our world darkened in March 2018 when his Daddy died from colon cancer, Travis’ dazzling spirit brought light back into our lives. On the rare occasion Travis caught a cold, he quickly recovered. Other than for his birth, he was never in the hospital. There was no indication in August 2018 when he first spiked a fever that Travis would be dead 20 hours later.
For those lucky enough to be around Travis for his four short years, we were rewarded with being the recipients of his outgoing personality, passionate opinions, love, friendship and joie de vivre. It is unfathomable that a light as bright as his could be extinguished by this genetic anomaly, this Isolated Congenital Asplenia (ICA).
There is currently no diagnostic test or genetic screening to inform parents that their child has no functioning spleen. Even with weekly ultrasounds done by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, no one ever noticed Travis had only a splenic remnant. As a Primary Immunodeficiency, ICA causes life threatening infections because without the spleen there is not an adequate defense against encapsulated bacteria.
Given that the spleen is a vital component of a young child’s immune system, something must be done to check for the presence of a functioning spleen. As an autopsy is not performed on every child who dies, scientists contend ICA could be the unknown cause in hundreds of child deaths each year.