Miami Dolphins

Ex-Dolphin lost his month-old son to rare disease. Here’s his heartbreaking story.

Kendall Langford, wearing No. 70 in this file photo, spent four years with the Dolphins.
Kendall Langford, wearing No. 70 in this file photo, spent four years with the Dolphins. Miami Herald Staff

Kendall and Cristin Langford, like any expectant parents, could not wait for the arrival of their baby boy.

Kendall, a former NFL defensive lineman who spent four years with the Dolphins, said the expectation was that little Kamden Alexander would be healthy; Cristin’s pregnancy was relatively stress-free.

But shortly after Kamden’s birth on Oct. 6 of last year, the medical staff feared something was wrong.

“The nurses and doctor were concerned about the length of his fingers and toes and had suspicion that it was Marfan syndrome,” Kendall Langford wrote on Twitter this week.

They were right. Kamden was diagnosed with neonatal Marfan, a rare and severe genetic disorder that affects the body’s connective tissue. Babies born with the illness have a high likelihood of congestive heart failure, according to the National Institutes of Health.

That was the case with Kamden. Doctors discovered a heart murmur and placed him in the NICU.

“My wife and I were devastated to say the least!” Langford wrote. “I had so many questions to the doctors and to GOD himself! Kam spent some time in the hospital and was fighting like a champion! We actually spent Thanksgiving in the hospital as a family! Kamden ended up passing Nov 28, 2017 and it felt as if my world was caving in on me! My wife and I held him until his last breath and long after!!! A piece of our hearts left on that date and that void can never be filled! I almost lost my faith and had a beef with God about why would he do this to me and my family!”

Weeks later, the family is still heartbroken, and while they have accepted what happened, they will never understand why, Langford added.

And yet, they have decided to channel their grief and try to find some good in this terrible situation.

The Langfords will be participating in Walk for Victory on Jan. 21, a fundraising event held at Hollywood’s Topeekeegee Yugnee Park. The national walk benefits the Marfan Foundation’s education and research programs.

As of Thursday morning, the Langfords had raised more than $6,300. Those who wish to donate can do so at give.marfan.org.

Adam H. Beasley: 305-376-3565, @AdamHBeasley

Juan Bowen, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic Marfan Clinic, discusses causes of Marfan syndrome and the importance of diagnosis and treatment.

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