Baby joy for fes­tive sea­sons

North West Telegraph - - News - Regina Titelius

When 10-month-old Ja’Kiyah Reuben wakes up on Tues­day, her fam­ily will be thrilled the lit­tle bun­dle of joy is home in time for her first Christ­mas after spend­ing al­most ev­ery day of her life in hos­pi­tal.

Doc­tors dis­cov­ered last year when mum Chelsea Der­schow was 20 weeks preg­nant that her un­born child had a bowel ob­struc­tion.

Know­ing how life-threat­en­ing the med­i­cal con­di­tion could be, Ms Der­schow was closely mon­i­tored and flown from her Port Hed­land home to King Ed­ward Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal in Perth a month be­fore de­liv­ery in Fe­bru­ary.

Barely a day old, Ja’Kiyah was trans­ferred to the for­mer Princess Mar­garet Hos­pi­tal for emer­gency surgery, re­mov­ing the ob­struc­tion.

After a speedy re­cov­ery, Ja’Kiyah and her mum were dis­charged. But the re­turn to their Pil­bara home — to be re­united with the tod­dler’s dad Leroy Reuben and brother Stu­art Dodd, seven — was short-lived.

Three weeks after their home­com­ing, Ja’Kiyah be­came ag­i­tated after a 3am feed. “She clearly was in a lot of pain and was swing­ing her arms and kick­ing her legs,” Ms Der­schow, 24, said.

“I rushed her to the (Port Hed­land) hos­pi­tal and said, ‘I think there’s some­thing wrong with her bowel’, be­cause she was only a day old when she had her first surgery.”

An X-ray con­firmed an­other bowel ob­struc­tion.

Flown back down to Perth, Ja’Kiyah un­der­went fur­ther emer­gency surgery. “That was my scary point. I was here by my­self, ex­pe­ri­enc­ing ev­ery­thing on my own. We stayed in hos­pi­tal from that day on,” Ms Der­schow said.

The weeks turned to months as Ja’Kiyah was in out and out of surgery due to com­pli­ca­tions, with a cen­tral ve­nous line used to feed her.

Speak­ing be­fore fly­ing home, Ms Der­schow said it would be a re­lief for her baby to be home “for good”.

She joked that Ja’Kiyah’s dad had not yet put up Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions ahead of their daugh­ter’s first at­tempt at open­ing presents.

“Yeah, I think he’d bet­ter get on to that,” Ms Der­show said.

Ja'kiyah Reuben is 10 months old and has been at PCH since April. She hashad mul­ti­ple ab­dom­i­nal surg­eries.

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