Miracle baby bounces back after hellish start

Laylah Gardiner, 19 months, Brittnee Gardiner, Mark Jarram and Hunter Gardnier-Jarram, 10 weeks at Lions Park, Gladstone. Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer
Laylah Gardiner, 19 months, Brittnee Gardiner, Mark Jarram and Hunter Gardnier-Jarram, 10 weeks at Lions Park, Gladstone. Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer Luka Kauzlaric

TEN weeks ago Brittany Gardinar was on the brink of desperation as her newborn baby Hunter battled for his life.

The past few months have been hellish for Ms Gardinar's young family.

Fearing her unborn son had a serious medical condition, they went back and forth to Brisbane for medical treatment before finally moving there for five weeks.

Ms Gardinar's partner Mark quit his job as a chef to be with her and look after their 19-month-old daughter Layla.

"They thought my son had dwarfism so they sent us to Brisbane for the birth.

"I started stressing and worrying what would be wrong.

"When he was born by an emergency C-section he had the cord wrapped around his neck and a heart murmur," she said.

Luckily, Hunter didn't have dwarfism but only weighed 1.6 kilograms. A normal baby weighs between three and four kilograms.

The tiny Hunter was in intensive care for nine days.

Struggling with Hunter's health and no income, the family was one of 86 central Queenslanders supported by Ronald McDonald House Charities in Brisbane.

"I feel like I owe them a lot. It would have been so hard if we couldn't have stayed there," said Ms Gardinar said.

While Hunter is now a much healthier 3.3kg, the family will find out next week if he needs heart surgery.

"If he needs surgery, we go back to Brisbane. I really hope it has settled down and he is okay," Ms Gardinar said.

For now the family is grateful that Hunter even made it into the world and can smile and laugh with his little sister.

"Layla and Hunter get along really well. She always wants to feed him and plays with him all day.

"You can see he loves her too," she said.

Topics:  baby gladstone heart condition ronald mcdonald house

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