Future looks brighter for Addi, finally
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”.
Addison Fielding with mum Bec.