Lifestyle

No tripe! Cow's stomach is Jeffrey's saviour

FUNDRAISER FETE: Kristie Jensen and Jeffrey Jensen-Paag look forward to the fete being held to raise money for HeartKids.
FUNDRAISER FETE: Kristie Jensen and Jeffrey Jensen-Paag look forward to the fete being held to raise money for HeartKids. Inga Williams

WHEN a human donor couldn't be found in time, surgeons turned to an unusual source in order to save a young boy's life.

Jeffrey Jensen-Paag is now an adventurous, energetic 15-month-old thanks to the stomach lining of a cow.

Although the heart valve that doctors fashioned from a beast won't last forever, it has allowed this little bundle of joy to be a normal kid, and taken a huge load off his mum's shoulders in the process.

Jeffrey was born with a condition known as aortic stenosis, which basically means that a valve in his heart was not working properly.

Mum Kristie knew there was something wrong as soon as she took her newborn home from hospital.

"He was sleeping non-stop," Ms Jensen said.

"It got to the point where I tried to wake him up for a feed and he wouldn't wake up."

Tests eventually showed low oxygen levels in Jeffrey's blood - pointing to a faulty heart valve.

When an initial procedure to try to blow the valve open failed, a call was sent out for a human donor - but none could be found.

"They ended up using a piece from a cow's stomach lining," Ms Jensen said.

"It was an amazing transformation. Within 16 days he was like a normal boy again."

Apart from the fact that Jeffrey has joined the "zipper club" - with a large scar down the middle of his chest - he will not suffer any permanent affects, apart from the fact that he will eventually outgrow his makeshift heart valve.

Doctors will monitor the brave young boy in order to work out when they will have to replace it.

Meanwhile, his appreciative grandma, Bernie Jensen, is doing her bit to raise money for HeartKids, a charity which supports kids like Jeffrey and their families during treatment.

The Jensens are organising a fete at Raceview State School on September 26 to raise money for the charity.

It will feature kids' rides and entertainment, live performances and displays, running 6-9pm.

For more information visit berniejensen.wix.com/heartkids.

Fast facts

  • Six Australian babies are born with a heart defect every day
  • It's estimated that 32,000 Australian children are living with CHD
  • About half of those diagnosed with heart disease require surgery

Topics:  editors picks, fundraising



Fernvale man wins $50,000 on a $4 scratchie

BIG WIN: A Fernvale man is living the dream after his scratch-it purchase paid off.

Winner in his 20s says he'll "spoil his daughter"

Get your special sports liftout in tomorrow's QT

It's a terrific record of achievement from so many dedicated players, teams and officials around Ipswich.

Grab your 16-page winners guide to Ipswich sport

Divebomber bird attacks in broad daylight

BIRDBRAIN: Alleged QT journalist Joel Gould unfurls the Ricky Ponting pull as Noisy Friarbird, known as Leatherhead, comes in for the kill in the terrifying attack at West Ipswich.

Ipswich fool attacked from the sky by angry bird

Local Partners

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

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.