Mum makes plea for baby’s trans­plant

Hopes baby sis­ter could give Harper a bet­ter life

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS - JAS­MINE MINHAS jas­mine.minhas@coff­s­coas­tad­vo­cate.com.au

MORE than a year af­ter the trau­matic birth of her first daugh­ter, Cheyanne Lee Few is hop­ing her new­born baby could hold the key to giv­ing her older sis­ter a bet­ter life.

For­mer Wool­go­olga lo­cal Cheyanne, 24, had moved to Western Aus­tralia to work in the mines when she met her part­ner Michael and later fell preg­nant.

Last year at 36 weeks in her preg­nancy there was a tragic turn.

Cheyanne ex­pe­ri­enced a pla­cen­tal abrup­tion which caused her daugh­ter Harper to “die three times”.

The pla­centa had com­pletely de­tached from the womb, de­priv­ing Harper of oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents.

She was placed in the ICU un­der pal­lia­tive care, and doc­tors told Cheyanne and Michael there was a slim chance of sur­vival.

“Af­ter they pulled her out of the in­cu­ba­tor they said she would last an hour max­i­mum. We took her to a pri­vate room and whis­pered end­less words of love ex­pect­ing to spend our last min­utes with her,” Cheyanne said.

“But she made it through the night.

“She be­gan breath­ing on her own, and slowly the tubes started com­ing off.

“We were told she would have a high chance of de­vel­op­ing cere­bral palsy when we took her home three weeks later, but we were in de­nial.”

Harper has now been di­ag­nosed with cere­bral palsy, mean­ing her abil­ity to de­velop and do every­day tasks such as speak, walk and crawl is nonex­is­tent.

“Watch­ing Harper ev­ery day wake up with her mas­sive smile and con­quer each day with such strength is truly a bless­ing. It is in­cred­i­ble to watch de­spite the pain of her twitch­ing, arch­ing body that is con­trol­ling her mus­cle tone and un­der­min­ing her pos­si­bil­ity to de­velop and reach mile­stones in unimag­in­able ways,” Cheyanne said.

But with the healthy birth of their sec­ond daugh­ter Ad­di­son about five weeks ago, Cheyanne and Michael are hop­ing Harper could have a chance with a stem cell trans­plant.

Us­ing stem cells from Ad­di­son’s um­bil­i­cal cord, there’s po­ten­tial to re­store parts of Harper’s brain.

The fam­ily are hop­ing to travel to the US for the trans­plant as it is not yet avail­able in Aus­tralia but it comes at a hefty cost.

The fam­ily has set up a GoFundMe cam­paign, Hope 4 Harper, in a bid to raise the funds.

“We have a goal of around $120,000 to cover the cost of the trans­plant as well as spinal surgery,” Cheyanne said.

“As the days go by it’s get­ting harder to ac­cept. We’ve re­alised now the only way we can help Harper is to get her story out there. Now is the time we need to re­ally start try­ing to change her fu­ture for the bet­ter.”

Pho­tos owned by Anja McDon­ald.

Pho­tos: Con­trib­uted

MORE than a year af­ter the trau­matic birth of her first daugh­ter, Cheyanne Lee Few is hop­ing her new­born baby could hold the key to giv­ing her older sis­ter a bet­ter life. IN­SET: Harper and Ad­di­son.

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