Jaymie's Warning For All Parents
It was Friday morning, and we got up, ready to move house. My son was fine. He was laughing and kicking - we called it his little dance. I fed him, but on this day I noticed that he had spat a little bit out, but I didn't think anything of it.
I asked my Mum to take over feeding as I needed to keep getting things ready for the removalist and she said that he had spat some milk out. Mum thought that perhaps the milk was too hot, so she tested it, and it was fine. That was when he started screaming.
I took him from Mum and cycled his legs on the floor and started to sing a song so he would calm down. Once he eventually calmed, I picked him up, and when I did, he vomited everywhere. I laid him back down and at this stage, his skin was pale as a white sheet, and he appeared drowsy. I picked him up again, while my Mum called Nurse on Call. While he was in my arms, he began falling in and out of consciousness and became less responsive. The nurse told us to go straight to the emergency department, so we drove to the Angliss Hospital.
When we arrived, I explained what had happened. They weighed him, and we went into the paediatric section of the hospital. I laid him down on the bed, and he vomited again. The vomit was clear, and he was still very drowsy. The doctor came in to check him, and then the next minute, he became unresponsive. The nurse shouted, "should we call a code blue?" The pediatrician came over, and we were calling my son's name, but he was not responding. The doctor then firmly-hit him on the chest, and he became responsive again.
He was then rushed to the cardiac arrest section of the hospital where he was placed on a drip and monitored. They did an x-ray and felt his tummy which was soft and sunken due to dehydration. He kept falling in and out of consciousness and remained very pale. The hospital even ran two fire alarm tests, and my baby still had no response: no crying; nothing.
They found nothing in his stomach and decided to transport him by ambulance to the Monash Children's Hospital. The hospital was advised to test for any neurological problems. Once we arrived at Monash, he was prepped for a breathing tube and sedated so they could perform a CT scan. He remained sedated until the morning, so they could also do an MRI. Both scans came back clear, which was a relief. They removed the breathing tube, and later that night, I was allowed to feed and cuddle him. He was kicking about and seemed fine, so they assumed it might have been a viral infection. After he fed, he did a poo, which was great because they needed a sample to test. I called the nurse over, and when we opened his nappy, we discovered it was full of blood with three hard round stools that would be hard for an adult to pass. They thought he might have had a tear, but none were found.
I said that he had been pulling his legs up and I thought it was something wrong with his stomach when all the symptoms began. He then had an ultrasound, and this is when they discovered an obstruction in his bowel. They said they would try to blow out his bowel while he was awake. They told me I couldn't watch as it would be too distressing. It didn't work, and they advised me that he would need keyhole surgery to remove the obstruction. In the end, he lost 12cm of his bowel due to the obstruction - but it could have been so much worse, and for that, we are lucky.
All of this happened when my bub was seven months old. The symptoms he experienced were:
Looking pale and drowsy
Pulling his legs up
Have a bloody nappy
Besides the nappy, he showed no apparent signs of a bowel obstruction. My hope is that our experience will help to create awareness and prevent this from happening to any other family.