Royce Faulkner was a typical little boy. He was full of energy until a medical diagnosis changed everything for both him and his parents, Remi and Shane Jent.
Faulkner will be honored during the third INTEGRIS Health “Home Run For Life” of the 2023 OKC Dodgers baseball season Friday, June 23 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
“Home Run For Life” recognizes individuals in the community who have overcome a significant medical event with the help of their families, physicians and health care professionals. To symbolize the end of their battle against adversity, honorees take a home run “lap” around the bases during a pregame ceremony. (story continues below)
When he was three years old, Faulkner’s parents began noticing changes in his behavior. He became more aggressive and wasn’t sleeping. He also battled extreme headaches and a regression in his vocabulary.
Desperate to find out what was happening, his parents took him to several different emergency rooms where he was diagnosed with dehydration and things of that nature. After symptoms persisted, Faulkner saw his primary care physician who immediately got in contact with Amber Stocco, M.D., who was a pediatric neurologist at INTEGRIS Health Children’s at the time.
A spinal tap confirmed that Faulkner had NMDA autoimmune encephalitis, a rare autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the brain. One in 1.5 million people will be diagnosed annually, with 40 percent of those being under the age of 18.
By the time Royce started treatment, he was unable to walk or talk. “He was basically like a little baby again,” Remi said.
The doctors at INTEGRIS Health Children’s were able to successfully treat Faulkner’s condition and after two months, he began to return to normal. After a few years of normalcy, Faulkner’s condition relapsed in October 2022. He began having mental health issues including suicidal thoughts. “It was out of nowhere,” Remi said.
Once again, the staff at INTEGRIS Health Children’s was able to treat Faulkner and get life back to normal. Both Remi and Shane are beyond grateful for everything INTEGRIS Health has done for them. “The staff is really great there,” Remi said. “They took us seriously, they listened to us and they really helped.”
“All of the staff is the best,” Shane added. Royce now lives his life like any normal seven-year-old and enjoys hanging out with his friends at school. He lives with his parents and his little sister Órla in Oklahoma City.