Jasmine Watts and Dan King with one-month-old son Oscar.
Jasmine Watts and Dan King with one-month-old son Oscar. Brittany Jayne Photography

OSCAR THE WARRIOR: Family determined to make every day count

AT FIRST hospital staff noticed Oscar King was extremely small for his gestation but, within a matter of days, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition which is likely claim his life by the age of five.

Mother Jasmine Watts had a "perfectly healthy" pregnancy but. at her routine 38-week midwife appointment. Oscar's heart rate dropped rapidly.

Miss Watts was monitored for a couple of hours at Warwick Hospital and doctors realised Oscar was too small, measuring at the size of a 33-week-old foetus.

They were taken to hospital in Ipswich where Miss Watts had an emergency caesarean the next day.

Miss Watts was not even able to hold little Oscar until 12 hours after he was born, as doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with her son.

"I was laying there and I could hear the new mums breastfeeding their mums, holding their babies," she said.

"All I could think was they ripped my baby away from me but he was in good hands and so I couldn't be too upset."

Miss Watts and her partner, Dan King, spent a terrifying six days wondering whether they would be able to bring home their baby.

They travelled to the Mater Hospital, Brisbane, where Oscar was diagnosed with Mucolipidosis Type II (ML II), otherwise known as I cell disease.

Miss Watts said only 70 people in the world had been diagnosed with the extremely rare disease since the 1960s.

I cell disease is a progressive metabolic disorder that involves the body's ability to break down certain fats. Over time children's bones start to freeze and their organs fail.

"It was probably the most gut-wrenching moment of my life, I can't even explain what it felt like," she said.

"It was the feeling in your stomach that you never want to feel again."

At only 19 and 20 years old, the new parents have had to come to terms with the reality of Oscar's disease.

"Not only are we new parents, we've got to gauge whether his behaviour is normal or part of the condition," she said.

"Some days, I'll look at him and think he looks so normal, how could something be so terribly wrong?"

 

CELEBRATING LIFE: Jasmine Watts and Dan King with one-month-old son Oscar, who was born with a rare genetic disease called Mucolipidosis Type II (ML II),   known as I cell disease.
CELEBRATING LIFE: Jasmine Watts and Dan King with one-month-old son Oscar, who was born with a rare genetic disease called Mucolipidosis Type II (ML II), known as I cell disease. Brittany Jayne Photography

Oscar is now five weeks old and living at home in Warwick but he receives medical check-ups weekly.

Miss Watts said he was acting like any other baby, crying and staying awake at night.

She said they were determined not to dwell too much on the future and planned to surround Oscar with a loving family and enjoy him for as long as possible.

"He gets to be a kid forever and who doesn't want to be a kid forever?" she asked.

"All I hope for is that, regardless of where we are with him, I just hope he's happy."

She said the ordeal had brought her and Dan closer together and she urged other parents going through a similar situation to seek support.

"Even if it means talking to a social worker at the hospital, have a support system," she said.

"If you're thinking you're feeling a little down that day, you don't want to lose sight of what's important."

 

Follow Oscar's journey on his Instagram page oscarthewarrior123.



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