the LOST ones


Liam Nissen .... with us for 16 days

Liam made a very quick and early arrival at 12.38am on Thursday 24th January – 2 ½ weeks early. My waters broke around 12.10am and we left home at 12.20am and after a high speed drive with hazard lights on and after running (carefully) many red lights, Liam was born at 12.38am. I only just managed to make it to the hospital and Liam’s head was emerging before I managed to make it on to the bed!!

It turns out that Liam’s dramatic entrance into the world was only the start of many dramatic events to come in his short life.

It was evident very early that Liam had swallowed a bit of meconium and was having some breathing difficulties. He was admitted to Neo Natal Intensive Care and was on oxygen. All these early signs were consistent with meconium aspiration. Over his first day, Liam continued to work very hard to breath and became very stiff and had jerky arm movements, so a decision was made to put him on ventilation. These abnormal movements increased in severity later that day to seizure like activity and Liam’s temperature was up to 40.5 with his heart rate up to230 beats per minute.

At this point we realized that we had a very sick little boy, but it was unknown as to what the cause was or even what they were dealing with.

Liam continued to struggle over the days and he was still unresponsive. He had no gag reflex which meant he required constant suctioning. An EEG was done which showed very abnormal brain activity, but an MRI showed nothing particularly unusual. Liam’s sedation medication was stopped so that the Doctors could see what he could do by himself.

When Liam was 5 days old, he was extubated into room air and we finally got to have a cuddle with him. This was a very special time and the first of many cuddles we had with him. At 6 days, Liam opened his eyes while I was talking to him.

The next few days continued with lots of cuddles from us and other family members and even a couple of baths. However Liam’s condition remained the same and test results were inconclusive.

When Liam was 15 days old, he had a repeat MRI and EEG which showed that at some stage late in the pregnancy Liam had suffered an insult to his brain from lack of oxygen and if he was to survive, he would be severely handicapped.

At 16 days old, Liam had a settled night. During the morning it was harder to keep Liam’s oxygen levels up and he was finding it harder to breath. At 12:30pm he had a drop in heart rate and it was difficult to recover Liam from this. We were called in and Liam was very pale and needed lots of support to keep going. Liam was taken out of his cot and we held him close until he passed away at 2:20pm.

By Tanya Nissen

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