The silver lining in battle for baby Emerson

The silver lining in battle for baby Emerson

Born with a serious medical condition requiring surgery to her oesophagus and trachea, baby Emerson spent her first 75 days of life in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) at Mater Mothers’ Hospital.

Her parents, Bernadette and Grant Murphy, took turns driving the three-hour round trip to and from their Toowoomba home and the hospital in South Brisbane for five months to ensure their newborn received the specialist critical care she needed.

Emerson was born in 2020 with Oesophageal atresia (OA) and trachea-oesophageal fistula (TOF), requiring several surgeries to connect her oesophagus to her stomach and her trachea to her lungs to enable her to eat and breathe independently.

Following a series of setbacks, NCCU surgeons told the Murphys that little Emerson was ‘the perfect example of cascading complications’.

But a miracle materialised six days before last Christmas when baby Emerson was finally permitted to go home to spend the festive season with her brother, mum and dad as a family.

“I say to my husband all the time that you go through this intense, traumatic experience and you’re a totally different person on the other side of it,” Mrs Murphy said.

“We developed so much more perspective.  We were probably really entitled, whingey people who complained about stupid stuff before Emerson.

“But it’s like going through bootcamp to make you tough. Now, anything we face we just take in our stride.

“That’s the silver lining.”

Emerson’s condition requires ongoing treatment and Mrs Murphy has put her career as a bank manager on hold to care for her daughter.

“We view every milestone through a new lens and continue to donate to Mater so that other families like ours can have the vital equipment and care that their newborns need,” she said.

“We are so grateful to be where we are now that I want to do anything I can to help others.”

You too can help other families like the Murphy's this Christmas. Donate today: click here to donate 


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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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