Fu­ture looks brighter for Addi, fi­nally

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - BRITT RAM­SEY

AD­DI­SON Field­ing has been through more than most young chil­dren.

The eight-year-old was likely to have needed a colostomy bag to help with chronic con­sti­pa­tion and so­cial in­con­ti­nence, but the de­ci­sion was made to un­dergo an an­te­grade colonic en­ema (ACE) pro­ce­dure – and it has given the young fam­ily hope.

Addi now has a tube per­ma­nently in­serted through her ab­domen into the ap­pen­dix and large bowel. It is flushed with a so­lu­tion daily, and changed ev­ery 12 months, to help with bowel move­ments.

Addi’s mum Bec told of the trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence her fam­i­ly­has been through and continues to en­dure.

From scream­ing in anger, to an­guish and frus­tra­tion, to a rare smile and laugh – the whirl­wind of emo­tion has been chal­leng­ing.

“It’s been as hard men­tally as it has phys­i­cally,” Bec said. “She looks at me, and aks, ‘why is this hap­pen­ing to me’? It’s heart­break­ing.

“She can’t do things like nor­mal kids, she can’t swim, be­cause of the risk of in­fec­tion.”

It was a blood­cur­dling scream six years ago from her then two-year-old that sig­nalled the be­gin­ning of Ad­di­son’s prob­lems.

“We were go­ing through toi­let train­ing, then we heard a blood­cur­dling scream,” Bec said.

“My hus­band and I raced down there and she’d suf­fered a rec­tal pro­lapse – ba­si­cally the back end of her body had just col­lapsed and come out. She was in so much pain.”

For years, after ther­apy, diet changes and med­i­ca­tions, Ad­di­son yoy­oed be­tween chronic con­sti­pa­tion to in­con­ti­nence in an in­stant.

“Not be­ing able to sneeze, cough, jump, laugh, climb — just not be­ing a kid with­out some­thing hap­pen­ing affected her men­tally,” Bec said.

“She felt em­bar­rassed in front of her friends and other kids would pick on her.”

Since the pro­ce­dure, things have been bet­ter.

“Know­ing that she’s not hav­ing ac­ci­dents any­more, she’s start­ing to do nor­mal things again,” Bec said.

“Last week­end she learned to ride with­out train­ing wheels – the smile on her face lit our hearts up.

“The mil­lion-dol­lar ques­tion is how this will help, but on the up side, she should be able to get into a rou­tine.

“If it doesn’t, then the op­tion is the bag, but we’ve got five years with the tube.”

The young mum ad­mit­ted the jour­ney would have been much more dif­fi­cult if it was not for the Gold Coast Univer­sity Hospi­tal’s child life ther­a­pist, Jes­sica Sut­ton.

“She’s been an in­te­gral part of our jour­ney,” Bec said. “With­out her, I don’t know, it could have been a much more scary jour­ney.

“Addi’s de­vel­oped a close bond with her, ev­ery time we’ve been in there for surgery or a pro­ce­dure, she knew Jess would be there and things would be okay.”

Addi said she should be lost with­out the help of “Jess, Dr Richard, Stavey, Mel, Joe and all my nurses from Gold Coast Univer­sity Hospi­tal who have helped me”.

Ms Sut­ton’s po­si­tion is fund­ing through the Gold Coast Univer­sity Hospi­tal Foun­da­tion and from fundrais­ers such as Scrub Up September which di­rectly helps Gold Coast­ers, rais­ing money for health re­search and pa­tient ser­vices.

“As a mum, it’s huge to know Addi has some­one so fa­mil­iar and trusts im­plic­itly,” Bec said.

“Ev­ery­thing the does helps pa­tients like Addi. It’s beyond words.”

Addi said: “I think ev­ery­one should get be­hind Scrub Up September and do­nate to help oth­ers like me get back to en­joy­ing life and be­ing kids again”.

Pic­ture: JERAD WIL­LIAMS

Ad­di­son Field­ing with mum Bec.

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