Lifestyle

Amelia gains appetite after battle

Baby Amelia Pierce and her mum Jenny Sutherland. Amelia was born with oesophageal atresia.
Baby Amelia Pierce and her mum Jenny Sutherland. Amelia was born with oesophageal atresia. Nicola Brander

AMELIA Pierce's parents waited five months to properly admire her sweet face.

The youngster was born with oesophageal atresia, a congenital condition which means that that the oesophagus does not properly join the stomach.

Amelia needed surgery at birth to insert a feeding tube directly into her stomach.

She also needed a tube in her mouth to drain saliva so that she did not choke.

At five months, she had further surgery to join her oesophagus and stomach which meant she could do away with the mouth tube.

It also meant that her parents, Jenny Sutherland and David Pierce, had a new daughter.

"As soon as they did the surgery, they took the tubes out. We'd never seen her face without a tube in it," Ms Sutherland said.

After spending her first five months in the Mater Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Amelia came home to Buderim where she continues to thrive.

She still receives formula through the gastrostomy tube to her stomach but is starting to experiment with food, showing a liking for chocolate custard, watermelon and Weet-Bix.

Mrs Sutherland has been told that could take up to two years for Amelia to eat and drink properly but she and her husband hope that she will be ready to eat her first birthday cake in five months time.

"She's showing more interest in food and touching things to her mouth," Mrs Sutherland said.

Mrs Sutherland said oesophageal atresia could affect children in different and multiple ways.

"We were very lucky that she only needed the two surgeries and, touch wood, she won't need any more," she said.

She said Amelia might have to eat slower and drink more water but she would otherwise be no different from any other child.

"I just want people to know that if something like this gets diagnosed in their family, it's not the worst thing," she said.

"If someone says there's going to be a baby in the family with oesophageal atresia, it's not that bad. The babies will grow and they will come to be just like every body else. It's a lot of hard work for the first couple of years but then everything will be all right."

 

Oesophageal atresia:

  • Affects about one in 4425 babies.
  • Occurs around 3-4 weeks gestation. Cause unknown.
  • Represents the failure of the oesophagus to develop as a continuous passage.
  • Comes in multiple configurations. Often, it is accompanied by tracheo-oesphageal fistula, where there is an abnormal opening between the trachea and oesophagus.
  • First signs can be an unusual amount of amniotic fluid while the mother is still pregnant.
  • The first signs at birth can be excessive drooling, coughing, choking and sneezing because the baby cannot swallow properly.

Topics:  health, surgery



City centre dances back in time for Kitsch in the Swich

Megan Mitchell, Deborah Farrell, and Lily Mitchell at the Kitsch in the Swich in the Ipswich CBD on Saturday.

The city was transformed into a retro lovers paradise on the weekend

Family and friends unite to help after son's death

The Maskell family with son and bother Jack (centre) who died in a motorcycle crash on Friday.

Jack Maskell died in a traffic crash late last week

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

Local Partners

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

John Mayer's advice for Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has revealed John Mayer gave him advice

Josh Brolin and Kathryn Boyd tie the knot

Josh Bolin marries in front of close friends and family

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'