November 1 2010. After a restless night, with what we thought was the first signs of teething, our 6 and a half month old baby boy was lying on the couch, very quiet and still. Not interested in his bottle, or breakfast of any kind, Mum got worried he was in for a flu.
A fever concerned Mum even more, especially when the Nurofen wasn’t working. Might have to call the doctor. Before the number was even dialed, in that very second, bubs started frothing at the mouth and had fixated eyes.
Oscar was having his very first seizure. In a panic, Mum threw the kids in the car. Belted down the freeway in a blur. “Mummy, Oscar keeps dribbling everywhere’ said his sister, unaware of the state her little brother was in.
Finally at PMH, (Princess Margaret Hospital) with nowhere to park, a frantic Mum sprinted with her lifeless baby into the ER screaming for someone to help! Oscar had been ‘fitting’ for 28minutes.
A nurse casually walked around from the counter and asked them to sit down. Sit down??? Sit down!! The Mum thought! ‘My son is dying in my arms, DO SOMETHING!!’ Realizing how serious the situation was, the nurse called for a resuss team.
Oscar was rushed away to a cold green table. He looked so little and cold. Lifeless. Mum felt numb. Just numb. A thousand questions were asked. Mum answered them the best she could. Her daughter, 3, trying to fill in the blanks! Dad was called. This was real. This nightmare is really happening. What went wrong? What happened!!! One hour and 42 minutes later, Oscar’s seizure finally stopped. Test results showed he contracted Pneumococcal Meningitis. A nasty bug that he caught in the air. This moment was inevitable. There was nothing anyone could have done to prevent it.
Oscar was in a coma for 6 days. He stayed in hospital for a following 31 days. During that time, it was devastating. Oscar lost all his motor skills. He lost his hearing, his sight was impaired, he now has cerebral palsy and is epileptic. But our wee man is a champion. He beat the odds and came out the other side, still smiling and flashing those big beautiful blue eyes.
It has been a long hard slog of therapies and appointments, tests and more tests. And it will continue to be a rough road of recovery. But our wee man is strong and has all the love from his family and friends. And we, all together, will do what is best for Oscar and his journey for the future.
Already on our way, Oscar has bilateral cochlear implants, has extensive physio, occupational therapy, speech and audiology sessions. And goes to WAIDE (The West Australian Institute for Deaf Education) once a week.
Published January 6, 2016.