Little Miracle Spreading Awareness for National Stroke Week

Little Miracle Spreading Awareness for National Stroke Week

"We were so blessed to finally have our little man in our lives after what felt like a lifetime of waiting. Little Hank Death was born at 12:22 pm on 31st October 2018.

 

"Unfortunately, immediately after birth, Hank suffered a massive stroke which left him with a quarter of his brain filled with blood and clots. He was having multiple seizures and couldn’t breathe, so the doctors placed Hank on life support right there in front of our eyes. Within hours, Hank was in the transport life support capsule and on his way to Mater Mothers' Hospitals in Brisbane. He was rescued from Rockhampton by Katrina and the team from Brisbane’s Neonatal Rescue. 

 

"Because of how critically ill Hank was, neither myself nor Aaron could travel with our baby boy. He was whisked away and so we had to make the gruelling 700 km drive down to Brisbane from Rockhampton while Hank flew above us. We didn't know if he would even survive the flight. 

 

"We arrived in Brisbane and at 3 am were reunited with our precious little boy. It wasn’t nice to see him hooked up to a wall full of machines and cords keeping him. Hank was relying on life support and anti-seizure medication; he was laying there lifeless. One of the hardest waits was the 3 days it took for test results to confirm that Hank had suffered a stroke just hours after birth. The medical team at Brisbane we’re incredible and if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn't have Hank in our lives today. 

 

"Hank was in the Neonatal Critical Care Unit for approximately 27 days, with his family (including grandparents) by his side every minute of each day.

 

"Hank is a fighter! It's this determination that kept him going. Our baby had sepsis, a brain bleed, uncontrollable seizures, and yet he fought so hard and finally overcame the odds to open his eyes on Day 5. On Day 7, Hank started breathing on his own and was able to have his life support removed on Day 11. Over the coming weeks, we watched as all of the cords were removed one-by-one; he was getting stronger! On Day 14 we were transferred back to our local Rockhampton Hospital and back with all of our extended family. 

 

"Unfortunately, Hank has damage to the left side of his body (mostly his arm and leg) from the stroke. He has also been recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of the stroke. Hank also has absent seizures from epilepsy. 

 

"Our little boy has had more battles in the last 10 months than most of us will experience in a lifetime. But here we are, and in a few short months, we will be celebrating Hank's first birthday! Only 10 months ago we didn’t think Hank would even make it. 

 

"Hank is a little champ! He has physio twice a week and swimming lessons to help build his muscle tone. Hank is also about to start more therapies as needed. We a constantly taking him to appointments for MRIs, doctors visits, and head measurements; and yet he hasn't stopped smiling!

 

"We're sharing our story for Stroke Week, to educate people that baby’s and children can have strokes too. Strokes are invisible. 

 

"One of the biggest challenges we face as a family is we constantly get asked, “he looks so normal are you sure it’s a stroke”? Yes, we are sure. 

 

"Unless people see physical signs of disabilities, sometimes people can be quite arrogant and disregard the fact that a normal-looking person is fighting a bigger battle then anyone could imagine. 

 

“For National Stroke Week, we ask that you take the time to educate yourself and turn the arrogance of invisible illness and disease into a teaching moment; the world would be a much better place ❤️. We want to educate people as much as possible, and if Hank's heartache can start a conversation for awareness, then we are happy with that.

 

"We would like to thank Mater Mothers' Hospitals and the Neonatal Critical Care Unit for their specialised care whilst Hank was with them in Brisbane. Thank you to the team from Brisbane’s Neonatal Rescue who flew Hank from Rockhampton to seek treatment."

 

Cassandra and Aaron Death 

Stanwell QLD 

 

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