Brain-in­jured in­fant de­fies all the odds

Great Southern Herald - - News - Monique Dirksz and Gabrielle Knowles

A baby in hospital with cat­a­strophic head in­juries is a “lit­tle fighter” who is breath­ing on his own but the ex­tent of his brain dam­age is still un­clear.

The baby’s great-aunt Cheyenne Tay­lor said rel­a­tives of Nathaniel were fo­cused on his sweet face and pray­ing for the best after be­ing warned he was un­likely to sur­vive when he was flown to Princess Mar­garet Hospital from Nar­ro­gin more than two weeks ago.

“He was on a ven­ti­la­tor, a feed­ing tube,” she said.

“It was very shock­ing at first to see a ven­ti­la­tor, es­pe­cially on such a lit­tle baby.

“We were ac­tu­ally told that they didn’t think he would make it and if he did he’d be a veg­etable.

“That was pretty tough be­cause what sort of qual­ity of life would he have like that.

“The word we just kept hearing over and over was ‘cat­a­strophic’.”

The in­fant’s fam­ily ex­pected the worst when doc­tors switched off the ven­ti­la­tor on Satur­day morn­ing, his dis­traught mother hold­ing him and pre­pared to say goodbye.

But he kept breath­ing on his own, Ms Tay­lor said.

“He’s such a lit­tle fighter, such a strong lit­tle boy,” she said.

“Now we’ve started to see real im­prove­ments.

“He’s moved his hands and his feet and when you un­dress him, he’ll cry.

“He does open his eyes and he loves cud­dles.

“They’re lit­tle signs that give us hope.”

Ms Tay­lor said doc­tors had told them it could be sev­eral months be­fore they had a long-term prog­no­sis.

No charges have been laid.

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