WITHIN hours of arriving at hospital Shanna Cook was told to say her last goodbye to her sick son Curtis Shore.

"As soon as we got there, we didn't know whether he would make it," Shanna said.

"At that point I burst into tears. It was a hard experience, I was really numb."

Shanna was told to say her final goodbyes to her newborn baby in case surgery didn't go to plan.

Six-week-old Curtis was undergoing surgery at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane to repair a defective bowel, which was outside of his body at birth.

The little one was suffering the potentially life-threatening gastroschisis and is one of the few babies in Queensland to also be diagnosed with hyperinsulinism and hypoglycaemia.

"He's the opposite of a diabetic. Instead of not having enough insulin, he has too much," she said.

Shanna was first told of her son's condition at her 13 week scan, with Curtis later being born prematurely at 34 weeks.

After his birth Curtis had numerous tests and visited specialists in Brisbane before surgery in July.

On Thursday, mother and baby ventured home after being given the green light by doctors at the Mater.

In total, Curtis spent four months in hospital.

"It was such an exciting feeling (to see him home)... I wasn't expecting it at all," she said. "To think we could have him home for Christmas is just a dream come true."

 

 

 

Happy family, Shanna Cook with children, Curtis Shore, 4 months, and Reagan Cook, 4 are excited to all be at home for christmas due to Curtis being ill in Brisbane.
Happy family, Shanna Cook with children, Curtis Shore, 4 months, and Reagan Cook, 4 are excited to all be at home for christmas due to Curtis being ill in Brisbane. Brenda Strong

The kindness of strangers

 

WHEN Shanna Cook found herself 600km from home and battling fears of losing her child, the Gladstone mother came to depend on the kindness of strangers.

After a whirlwind 12-hours of being transported from Gladstone to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, Shanna retreated to home-cooked meals and her own bed at the Ronald McDonald House in Brisbane.

"A lot happened that day, it was very overwhelming," she said.

Shanna said she became involved with Ronald McDonald house through her long-term friendship with McDonald's Gladstone supervisor Peter Hawkins.

"We went to school with each other and the rest is history," she said.

The Gladstone mother was provided with her own room and access to communal fridges and a kitchen to prepare meals during her stay.

"Everyone in the house provided emotional support. Some would cook food for you after a big day. It was nice."

Shanna said Bernie and Paul Daley were among those who provided support at a time of need.

 

 

What is gastroschisis?

  • A defect in the abdominal wall, involving an extrusion of the foetal bowl.
  • Babies are being born with the bowel outside of the body.
  • Thought to occur because of interruptions to the blood supply or blood vessels which supply the muscles of the abdominal wall during the period of abdominal wall development.

 

Happy family, Shanna Cook with children, Curtis Shore, 4 months, and Reagan Cook, 4 are excited to all be at home for christmas due to Curtis being ill in Brisbane.
Happy family, Shanna Cook with children, Curtis Shore, 4 months, and Reagan Cook, 4 are excited to all be at home for christmas due to Curtis being ill in Brisbane. Brenda Strong


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