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12 Miracles of Christmas

Published:  17 December 2020
For the past two years, the Townsville Hospital and Health Service has been profiling 12 families who have come through our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) or our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and survived against the odds. These families have shared a glimpse of their hardest days with us. Below, you'll read stories of heartbreak and inspiration. We would like to thank every staff member involved in the care of these young miracles and their families.
January – Tully Orr

A routine home visit from a Townsville University Hospital midwife is credited with saving three-week old Tully Orr’s life after she had turned blue due to a lack of oxygen.

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Tully had a rough start to life; born prematurely at 35 weeks and three days before developing a common respiratory infection respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Mum Alison Orr said the first month of Tully’s life was a whirr of hospital admissions before a routine midwifery group practice sent their world crashing down.

“Tully was having some on and off breathing difficulties that we thought was just a common cold, but she had started to turn blue when a midwife came for a home visit,” she said.

“The midwife told us to get Tully to hospital but when she left, she came right back and said: ‘actually, call an ambulance right now’.

 “Tully spent four days on a breathing machine and in those first couple of days we just couldn’t see there being a happy outcome.

“It is a terrible thing to see your baby not being able to breathe on their own.”

Tully had a failure of the central nervous system, which occasionally occurs in infants, and wasn’t getting enough oxygen to her little body.

“Her brain was already a little bit fuzzy because she’d been born early, had some complications and then had the RSV on top of all of that,” she said.

“I’d never been to an intensive care ward before and ever since every time Tully has had a sniffle or a cold you go right back to remembering that experience.

“I’d just like to say to those nurses on the ward that they helped pull our family through. The work they did caring for Tully and our family was very touching and really important to us.”

The Orr family of Alison, partner Darcy, Tully and her three-year-old brother Remi relocated from Townsville to Brisbane in June 2020.

Alison said thankfully Tully had not required a hospital admission since the visit to Townsville University Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit.

“I think once you’ve been through this you learn not to be as afraid and to be hopeful that your child is in good hands,” she said.

“When we were in hospital this ‘miracles’ feature had just come out in the newspaper and I remember reading it and just getting hope that other families had been through it and come out the other side.”

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February – Klaire Metcalfe

When 13-year-old Cairns local Klaire Metcalfe collapsed at school in February this year, mum Jocelyn thought her daughter was just dehydrated. By 8:00pm that night, Jocelyn was holding her daughter’s hand in Townsville University Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit as she recovered from emergency brain surgery.

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“When Klaire collapsed the school called an ambulance; however, we all just thought she was dehydrated,” Jocelyn said.

“At the hospital she was given fluids and started regaining consciousness, but as they wheeled her into the emergency bay she started trying to tell me she was cold, but couldn’t get the words out, so she was just saying ‘brrr’.

“Then she suddenly started screaming in pain and pointing at her head. The doctors rushed to her side and gave her painkillers.

“After they managed to calm her she was rushed for a scan where they found a bleed on her brain; she was immediately put on a helicopter and sent to Townsville for surgery.”

From here, Klaire spent nine days in the Townsville University Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), a week in the children’s ward and another week in Ronald McDonald House.

“The focus during our stay in Townsville was to remove the pressure from Klaire’s brain, so her first surgery was to insert a drain and remove the excess fluid,” Jocelyn said.

“Those nine days in PICU were the most difficult; she was vomiting and in a lot of pain. We couldn’t have any lights on in the room and her speech was still affected.

“It turned out that Klaire had an arteriovenous malformation or AVM, which doctors say she’d probably had since birth. People can live with an AVM, not knowing, for their entire lives, but when they rupture it can be incredibly serious.

“We are so lucky that Klaire has come out of the whole experience with no brain damage.”

After the emergency surgery in Townsville, Klaire was referred to Queensland Children’s Hospital where she had surgery to remove the AVM, with the teen now ‘cured’.

“The whole ordeal was really scary, but we try to look for positives and stay grateful that things turned out well,” Jocelyn said.

 “Life is back to normal; Klaire is back to doing full days at school and there’s no more excuses from doing the dishes or cleaning up!”

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March – Aisea ‘Edward’ Niudamu

A normal Saturday night for the Niudamu family turned to tragedy in seconds in March this year when 10-year-old Edward Niudamu experimented with the effects of a can of insect spray and a lighter.

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Edward’s mum Rebecca Niudamu said she would never forget the sound of the can exploding from her kitchen where she thought Edward was sweeping the floor.

“I ran straight to the kitchen to find a few small fires which I put out and then straight outside to where Edward had run to find him badly burned,” she said.

“We took him inside and put him under the cold shower while we got ready to take him to the Cairns Hospital emergency department.”

Rebecca said by the time they had arrived at the emergency department the skin from his belly button up including his arms and face were blistering and peeling off.

“Edward was crying so much from the pain; he was given pain relief so they could dress the burns, but we were told we would need to go to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in Townsville,” she said.

“We were flown there that night and they took him straight to theatres to treat the damaged skin and try and preserve as much of the unburned skin as possible.

“He also had a skin graft which involved taking skin from his leg to be used on his hand as that was where the skin was most burned.”

Rebecca said Edward ended up as a patient in PICU for three weeks.

“During that time, he had multiple surgeries to continue to try and manage the burns,” she said.

“I never expected it to be as bad as it was; I didn’t even pack enough clothes for us for that length of time.”

Rebecca said after the three weeks in PICU they were moved to the paediatric ward.

“We spent another two weeks there before we could return to Cairns,” she said.

“Once they took his compression suit off and cleaned the wounds and had a look at the scars to see how they were healing they were happy for us to return home.

“Edward was so brave; we didn’t hide what he looked like or the seriousness of the situation to him.”

Rebecca said the ordeal turned their life upside down, but she was grateful to the medical and nursing teams at Townsville University Hospital.

“Doctors told us that we were quite lucky,” she said.

“If there had been damage to Edward’s eyes he could have been without vision for the rest of his life.

“We couldn’t have got through without paediatric surgeon Dr Daniel Carroll.  

“The whole team did an amazing job caring for Edward and most of his face and body recovered with no visible signs of damage.

“His hand is still quite badly scarred and will require long-term follow-up in Townsville to ensure Edward gets as much mobility in his hand as he continues to grow-up.

“He will still need to wear compression garments for the next two years.

 “I’m just very grateful my son is still here; his father is grateful he is still here with us too; our whole family is.”

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April – Joshua Christie-Johnston

Two-year-old Normanton toddler Joshua Christie-Johnston had just celebrated his second birthday when the typically high-energy tot became unwell.

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A visit to the GP saw Joshua diagnosed with pneumonia and an overnight stay in the Normanton Hospital before being transferred to the Mount Isa Hospital for more specialised care.  

“We spent a week in Mount Isa where the doctors gave him antibiotics; however, he kept getting worse,” Joshua’s mother, Heather said.

“When we first went to the hospital, I was full of hope; I thought, ‘he’s in hospital, he’ll get better’ and when he just wasn’t improving with no answers as to why I started to really worry.

“We had people from Perth, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Normanton all praying for him to get better.”

As clinicians undertook more investigations they found that Joshua had empyema, or fluid on his lungs, which needed to be drained as soon as possible, so the tyke was transferred to the Townsville University Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit. 

“This was all happening right in the peak of the pandemic, so everyone was extra cautious,” Heather said.

“Because he was hooked up to breathing machines, a retrieval team from Townsville needed to first fly to Mount Isa to operate the breathing equipment during the transfer.

“We left Mount Isa at midnight and by 7am that morning I was meeting with surgeons to get the drain in.”

Heather said later tests showed that Joshua’s illness was a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection which is resistant to many different antibiotics.

“Throughout his treatment he was on broad spectrum antibiotics which explains why he kept deteriorating,” Heather said.

“Doctors said this wasn’t something they would normally see, so I’m really grateful we had such a positive outcome 

“After the drain was out and he had the right antibiotics he picked up so quickly; when we were transferred from PICU to the children’s ward he just wanted to get up and play and his appetite was well and truly back, even asking nurses for extra sandwiches after dinner,” Heather laughed.

Heather said Joshua, who is now two-and-a-half, was back to being a happy, healthy young boy.

“He’s a little chatterbox with a very good appetite and loves tearing around on his new bike,” Heather said.

“We are just so thankful to the team; it was a relief to have him in such good hands.”

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May – Kayden Gerrard-Priddle

Seven months ago Kayden Gerrard-Priddle’s parents Alison and Emma feared for the worst when their 17-month old son was put into an induced coma in the Townsville University Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit after the Townsville toddler was struggling to breathe.

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“Kayden had been consistently sick from about six-months old with recurrent chest infections and then, in May this year, it all came to a head,” Alison said.

“Emma and I both work in childcare so we knew the warning signs; Kayden was having trouble breathing so we called an ambulance and he was rushed to hospital.

“The doctors monitored him throughout the night where he was given steroids and nebulised to try and reduce the size of his throat.”

Alison said by morning Kayden seemed to be on the mend and was moved to the children’s ward; however, things took a scary turn.

“Emma had gone home to get some rest and Kayden suddenly went downhill; the staff made a MET call and we were suddenly surrounded by doctors and nurses who were trying to help him breathe,” Alison said.

“Kayden was laying in my lap on the bed and the doctors were prepping him to be given a breathing tube; it was terrifying.”

Emma added: “The doctors phoned me and told me I needed to get back to hospital as soon as possible because Kayden had taken a turn; at that point I feared the worst.”

Kayden was put into an induced coma and onto a ventilator where he spent three and a half days in the Townsville University Hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit.

“He was fighting so hard that the doctors wanted to give his little body a break and a chance to recover,” Alison said.

“He was tested for anything and everything and ended up being diagnosed with pneumonia, croup and rhinovirus.”

After three and a half days, Kayden was able to be taken off the ventilator and moved to the children’s ward where he was monitored for a few more days.

“When we got home a doctor phoned us to tell us Kayden had X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) which is an incredibly rare disorder that affects 5 in 200,000 boys,” Alison said.

“Kayden has no immune system and can’t get vaccinated, which is why the three viruses hit him so hard.”

Kayden now has a weekly plasma injection in his stomach which he will need for the rest of his life to help protect him against bacterial infections; however, his parents say the now two-year-old is doing well.  

“Kayden is a typical happy kid and you wouldn’t know there was anything wrong,” Emma said.

“Christmas is a great time to think of others, and I’d encourage everyone to consider a regular plasma donation to help kids like Kayden live a normal life.

“We are so grateful to have him with us; the whole experience has shown us what really matters.”

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June – Toni-Leigh Bowron

When Toni-Leigh Bowron went from an active, bubbly 11-year-old to a spending all her time in bed in March this year her grandmother Janelle Gilmore knew something was wrong.

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“She just wasn’t herself in the week leading up to her going to hospital,” Ms Gilmore said.

“After a few days I went to see her at her Dad’s house to find she had a very high temperature and a bruise on her leg I hadn’t noticed before.

“On closer look I didn’t think it was just a bruise, so I took her to the hospital.”

An MRI at the Townsville University Hospital found that Toni-Leigh had sepsis, a condition caused by an abnormal response of the body to an infection that had started from a boil on her knee.

Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, multiple organ failure and even death if not identified early.

Ms Gilmore said she’d never seen so many doctors and nurses at once.

“An ultrasound found that the infection had travelled from the boil on her knee to her inner thigh and groin, causing pain around her hip,” she said.

“The infection also caused a blood clot the size of my fist which then broke off into smaller clots that had travelled to Toni-Leigh’s chest.

“It was quite scary with so many doctors and nurses around doing tests and monitoring her in such a short period of time.”

The clot meant that Toni-Leigh needed to be admitted to the Townsville University Hospital paediatric ward.

“Once we got there her conditioned worsened quite quickly which meant Toni-Leigh was moved to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU),” she said.

“She had a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) line to administer anti-biotics to stop the infection and were monitoring the clot closely.

“The first few days were horrendous once the doctors told us how serious sepsis could be.

“Toni-Leigh wouldn’t eat and was in and out of consciousness while her body fought the infection.

“She hated getting injections and screamed and cried when she knew the nurse was coming to administer them.

“The nurses were really understanding and set up a video to distract her from the needles.”

Ms Gilmore said they spent a total of three weeks at Townsville University Hospital while Toni-Leigh recovered.

“It was a long and stressful three weeks, but we were so fortunate to be cared for by the PICU team; they really put my mind at ease,” she said.

“Toni-Leigh did make a full recovery which was quicker than we all expected but she responded very well to the anti-biotics.”

“The doctors were so pleased with her recovery, but we know now that sepsis can be deadly.

“Toni-Leigh and her brother and sisters all know that if they have a sore or a cut, they need to let us know so we can keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t become infected.

“I thought we were in for the long-haul with Toni-Leigh, so I don’t want to see any of my other grandchildren go through the same thing.”

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July – Darcy Dawson

Running around herding the cows, patting the dogs and feeding the horses was a rite of passage for nine-year-old Darcy Dawson, who lived on a property in Proserpine; however, it was during one of Darcy’s many childhood adventures that he inadvertently himself in trouble, inhaling the eggs of a parasite that took up residence in his body and caused what is known as Hypatid Disease.

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“Darcy originally presented to Townsville University Hospital with pneumonia and we didn’t expect it to be anything more than that,” Darcy’s mum Deanne said.

“Next thing we know we’re up in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and it was here that they found four large cysts in his lung and three in his liver, all ranging from five to eight centimetres in size.

“Eventually they made the decision to operate and take the lower third of his right lung to remove the four cysts.”

Deanne said that despite the surgery, and the difficulty of having an operation in the middle of a pandemic, Darcy had handled everything like a champion.

“Even in ICU he was really good; he was still smiling and laughing, even with tubes coming off him in every direction,” Deanne said.

“At one point he had a drain that went through the centre of his back and around the shoulder blades, so every time he moved, the drain would put painful pressure on his ribs but he held in there; he’s just so tough.”

For Darcy, there is more hospital visits and surgery on the way.

“The doctors need to turn the current cysts in his liver into scar tissue by putting a needle into the cysts and injecting saline into them and after that he’s on medication for 12 months, with follow-up appointments over the course of three years,” she said.

“The most he’s ever taken before this was liquid Panadol for a headache, so he’s certainly taken it in his stride.

“The doctors up there are fantastic as well and I think that makes it easier.

“We can’t fault any of them; they are all such amazing people, especially the respiratory nurse Leigh who regularly rings up to have a chat to Darcy.

“It was funny, we were all thinking that we had to keep ourselves together, so he didn’t panic but through it all he just showed this brilliant resilience.

“He never lost that smile.”

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August – Elijah Tan

For parents everywhere, a run-of-the-mill cold is just another part of parenthood, but for four-year-old Elijah and parents Ysabella  and Jonathon a simple cold turned terrifying when it went from a quick x-ray to an intensive care stay.

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“Elijah is a little ball of energy so when he became lethargic, we got really worried,” Ysabella said.

“We took him to the hospital the first time for ‘flu symptoms and came back because he wasn’t getting better; that’s when they did x-rays and found fluid on his lungs.”

Elijah was soon admitted to the Children’s Ward where things escalated quickly.

“My husband had just gone home to rest when suddenly Elijah’s heartrate jumped up really high,” Ysabella said.

“This nurse came rushing in and said, ‘I’m going to push this button and it’s going to be a little scary because the room will fill up with doctors and nurses’ and I thought, ‘I’ll be fine’, but I wasn’t.

“As soon as everyone came running in, reality hit me I couldn’t help myself, I started crying.

“I knew he was fine but my emotional and logical brain were not connecting.”

Elijah was taken to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) where drainage tubes were inserted into his lungs, followed by surgery where three more tubes were inserted and a spinal tap to help with the pain.

“Elijah was in a lot of pain, which was hard to see,” Ysabella said.

“However, throughout it all, he was really observant whenever the nurses were helping him.

“Even if it was painful he would do what the nurses needed of him.”

In true fighter style, Elijah pushed through and was released from PICU in five days.

“He made it and that’s the main thing,” Ysabella said.

“We’ve since moved cities and he loves the beach, the playground, pretending he’s a robot or a dinosaur and wrestling his uncles.

“It’s like it never happened.”

Ysabella said she was thankful to the staff who helped get her bright, bubbly son back to his normal self.

“The doctors and nurses were super patient and caring, especially towards the end where he was just so exhausted,” she said.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to take care of Elijah.”

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September – Nate Adamson

Nate Adamson is a tough and adventurous kid who is a rising talent on the local motocross and endurance racing circuit in Townsville.

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On 10 September, Nate was riding his bike down to the local river to see his mates when he stacked it into a ditch not far from the family’s Black River property.

Mum Wendy Adamson said she knew something was seriously wrong with her son by looking at the pain wrought across her 14-year-old’s face.

“He has snapped his wrist a couple of times and sustained plenty of injuries, but this is a kid who never complains about pain, he has always just been able to get up and suck it up,” she said.

“As soon as I saw him after the crash, I knew he was in big trouble when he said I needed to call the ambulance.

“It is a terrible feeling knowing that your child is in pain and not knowing what is wrong or how you can help them”.

Nate was rushed to Townsville University Hospital where he spent 12 days admitted across the paediatric intensive care unit and children’s ward.

He was quickly diagnosed with a lacerated spleen and a shattered left kidney which requires ongoing treatment.

“The admission was so long because the doctors had strict instructions that he needed complete bed rest with no movement for a minimum of seven days. This was so the kidney could clot to stop the internal bleeding in the hope that he wouldn’t need surgery,” she said.

“Just as he was moved to the children’s ward and we thought things were looking up his temperature started to spike, and his resting heart rate was getting up over 200 beats a minute. They had to call in a medical emergency team to assess the situation again. It was such a traumatic experience.

“In saying that, the care and support that he received was outstanding and even during those scary times we knew he was always in the best of hands.”

Wendy joked that there was one small silver lining from the incident.

“Nate used to have a healthy mullet, it was so good it even featured on Aussie Mullet Hunters,” she said.

“I never thought he’d get rid of the thing but since the accident he’s decided to cut it all off.”

Wendy said they are still unclear if Nate has any function left of that kidney until they have further scans, but Nate was on doctors’ orders to stay off the bike until 2021.

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October – Chelsea Borg

An idyllic weekend on the family farm was turned upside down when an innocuous farm accident left 10-year-old Chelsea Borg with a shattered skull and a brain bleed.

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A farm worker and Chelsea had decided to take a buggy out to inspect the properties irrigation when a wheel ruptured, and the vehicle careened into a tree.

Mum Sarah Borg was back at the farmhouse cooking a Saturday afternoon barbeque when the family when she heard about the crash from another farm worker.

“We didn’t really think it was that serious when we got there; Chelsea was talking, knew where she was and what had happened and hadn’t lost consciousness,” she said.

“Our farm is just 10 minutes down the road from Sarina Hospital, so we took her there to get checked out and the decision was taken to transfer her to Mackay for a full lot of scans.

“It was in Mackay that she had a CT scan that showed a bleed in the brain and a fractured skull, I was so glad they did this because sometimes clinicians can be reluctant due to the exposure to radiation.”

The family were transferred to Townsville University Hospital where Sarah met a neurosurgeon in the emergency department and Chelsea was rushed into operating theatres for emergency surgery.

Surgeons performed a left craniotomy and removed the brain bleed.

“The fracture in the skull was cut out, the surgeons removed the clot and then they stitched the pieces of the skull back on,” Sarah said.

“It was an overnight stay in paediatric intensive care unit and five days of recovery in the children’s ward, and then we were back home – almost exactly a week after it happened.”

Sarah said Chelsea was on the mend, but doctors expected it to be anywhere between three and 12 months before she is fully recovered.

“Look it is hard for a 10-year-old girl to be told too take it easy for a few months, but she is getting there,” she said.

“I’m just really glad that we took the head injury seriously and didn’t wait to get treatment.”

The Borg family has owned a 7000-acre cattle and cane farm just outside of Sarina for the past 35 years.

Chelsea is the eldest of four girls with Madelyn (8), Heidi (3) and Gwen (18 months) keeping Sarah and partner Stewart on their toes.

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November – Oliver Butler

November holds a special place in the hearts of Stephanie and Bronson Hutchen, as it marks a day they thought they’d never see – the first birthday of their son, Oliver, who, despite having five surgeries in his eight months of life, has pulled through without losing his cheeky smile.

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Stephanie said the doctors first noticed an issue when Oliver was still in utero, but it wasn’t until he was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, at 32 weeks weighing just 1.65kgs, that anyone realised the extreme extent of his rare condition.

“Oliver wasn’t born with an oesophagus, so where his mouth was, it was just a little pouch, and when he was swallowing, it was draining to an airway that was connected to the stomach,” Stephanie said.

“This meant that, basically, his food pipe was connected to his airway.”

The rare one in 5,000 condition known as tracheoesophageal fistula (TOF) meant that Oliver had to undergo surgery less than 24 hours after birth.

“He was born at 1.10PM on Tuesday and by 8AM on Wednesday they were wheeling him in for his first reconstructive surgery,” Stephanie said.

“During this they disconnected his stomach from his airway and stretched it to create an oesophagus for him.

“His second and third surgeries meant he had to go under anaesthetic to put a camera down his throat and into his airway, with his second one discovering a hole in his airway – which they glued shut – and his third one discovering a fistula, or an abnormal connection, that connected his airway to his oesophagus.”

In between hospital visits, little Oliver enjoyed time at home but not without complications; he came down with both para influenza and bronchitis and fought aspiration ammonia caused by excess fluid on his lungs before going in for his next round of surgeries.

“His fourth and fifth surgeries centred around finding and fixing the fistula – hopefully for good,” Stephanie said.

“His fourth operation they couldn’t locate it with the camera, so they rescheduled and two hours into his fifth surgery they called me to ask to open him up and find it inside, with the original team from his first surgery taking it into their hands.

“Every ten minutes they had to inflate and deflate his lungs and he was in surgery for a total of six hours, four of which they were inside his chest.

“They managed to cut the fistula at both ends and put gauze over it, with the aim to stop it from growing back or fusing together, but we’ve had recent scans this month that indicate it could have come back already so we’re crossing our fingers.”

Since November 2019 to June 2020 the Hutchens spent only nine weeks at home together as a family, so Stephanie said she wasn’t taking this Christmas for granted.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but we’re hoping for the best,” Stephanie said.

“You’d look at Oliver and wouldn’t even know that he’s been through all of this.

“He’s a happy, quiet baby and we’re really lucky to have him here.”

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12 Miracles of Christmas – December – Kaius Black

Separating from her new baby was twice as difficult for Mackay resident Rachel Little earlier this month when the need for emergency surgery on her eleven-week old son Kaius Black meant she also had to leave Kaius’ identical twin brother Kowan in Mackay with family.

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Baby Kaius had been without any major health issues in the first eleven weeks of his life until Rachel noticed some significant swelling in his groin area.

“When I noticed it, I took him straight to our GP to get it looked at,” she said.

“I had a few complications during my pregnancy with Kaius having restricted growth, so I didn’t want to take any risks.

“The GP told us he had a hernia and a follow-up ultrasound showed there were actually two; a large one on the left and a smaller one on the right.

“After that we were told we’d need to be flown to Townsville University Hospital for emergency surgery on the hernias.

“This meant Kaius and I were on the next flight to Townsville and I had to leave Kowan and my two other children with family; it was so hard to leave them.”

Rachel said she’d never been so scared in her life.

“Because one of the hernias was so large his bowel had been impacted and his testes were also at risk of damage,” she said.

“The doctors at Townsville University Hospital said they weren’t sure what the outcome would be for his bowel and if it would function as it should.

“I just kept thinking of the worst-case scenarios of everything that could go wrong.”

Rachel said she cried tears of relief when Kaius came out of surgery.

“It was pretty quick because hernias can be common in pre-term babies,” she said.

“Between going to the GP and his surgery the larger hernia had moved back into place and away from his bowel which meant there was no damage to his bowel.

“Knowing that really put my mind at ease.”

Rachel said after surgery Kaius spent three days in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

“They kept a close eye on him in there to make sure there were no post-operative complications,” she said.

“The team there was absolutely wonderful, so beautiful and hands-on.

“Separating my twin sons so early in their life and having to be away from my other baby was so difficult so I cannot thank the PICU team enough for the care they provided us.”

Rachel and Kaius are back in Mackay now and looking forward to their first Christmas as a family with older siblings 11-year-old Bailey and seven-year-old Nikkyah.

“Things are good and Kaius is recovering well and we see our GP regularly to check his wound is healing and to change his dressing,” she said.

“Reuniting Kaius and Kowan when we got home was so special and such a special moment.

 “Both boys are comfortable and settled at home and hopefully we don’t find ourselves in PICU again anytime soon.”

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Read the full story on the team who treats these miracles here.

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