CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - 7-year-old Austin Cauthen suffers from myotubular myopathy, a very rare muscular condition where he can't sit stand crawl or roll over.
Austin can't swallow and must be fed through feeding tube. Consequently, respiratory failure is his biggest threat to life and he requires care 24/7.
"He ends up occasionally having issues where he has to go the hospital because of pneumonia," said Austin’s dad Shawn.
Dad Shawn is a teddy bear around his son, but he's as tough as they come -- a Marine Corp vet who works nights as a S.W.A.T. team leader for the Lancaster Sheriff's Department.
“It’s an ongoing challenge we've had to learn to cope over the last 7 years and how to just make things work, " said Shawn.
Mom Emily devotes all of her time to caring for her son.
"We don't know what the future holds. It’s just kind of a wait and see," she said.
The Cauthens are extremely optimistic about Austin's future, mainly because of his personality.
"He's extremely sarcastic, playful, he loves school. School is like on his favorite things. Yes, he's fully there cognitively. He's an extremely intelligent kid he's actually above grade level in a lot of things," Shawn said.
As Austin gets older the biggest challenge for the Cauthens is getting him from one place to another. Their car is too small to carry him and all of his medical equipment. What they would like is a wheelchair accessible mini-van.
"Would be amazing. It would just make things a little easier in just getting him into the vehicle and out of the vehicle," said Emily.
Making that dream come true for the Cauthens is the mission of All Things Possible Ministry.
"I believe that people are generally good hearted and want to help they just have to know about the need… and our job is to let them know," said Lisa Sexton who works with the organization.
Shawn and Emily Cauthen know that their lives would be forever changed, and so would Austin's.
"There’s not another way to be but hopeful."
If you’re interested in helping get results for this family, visit All Things Possible Ministry’s website here.