Damien was our first baby and we were so excited that
he was coming. We found out early in our pregnancy that there was something wrong. At our 20 week scan the tech told us that
there were problems and called in the doctor. She told us that our baby had a large hole in his heart (called a VSD), and
they wouldn't know how it would affect his life. We had heard of many people having holes and being perfectly fine so we were
scared but optimistic.
Then on March 24 2004 at 27 weeks I went into labor
and they were unable to stop it. In I went for an emergancy c-section and our little boy was born. He weighed 2lb 3oz and
they discovered he was also missing a large part of his pulminary artery (pulminary atresia). We were told that this could
be repaired by surgery at a later stage. When Damien was 3 months old he had his first round of heart surgery. Everything
went well and after another 3 months he finally came home. It was like life had been put back into order. He was a beautiful
baby and had such a forgiving nature. He loved people and was always ready with a smile and cuddle. He thrived at home and
grew into a happy little boy. He did everything a baby should. He had learnt to crawl and was just teaching himself
to walk along the furniture. We enjoyed this fantasy life for 10 months, during which I became pregnant with our second
child, also a boy.
Adrian came 5 weeks early and on the day he was born,
my partner took Damien to have a scan to check his heart. The technician told him that day that our angel was going to die.
Of course we didn't believe her until the cardiologists made an appointment for him at the Childrens Hospital. He had developed
a condition called hypotrophic cardiomyopathy and it wasn't looking good.
July 12 2005 Damien was admitted and our nightmare
began. He caught an infection and after going into respiritory arrest was taken to ICU. After suffering 2 cardiac arrests
in one day he was put on an artifical heart and lung machine (ECMO). We were told that he had to have more heart surgery but
they weren't confident in him surviving. My world ended that day. Both my babies were in hospital. What the doctors didn't
take into account was Damien was a fighter. He breezed through the surgery and recovery. But over the next 7 weeks he would
repeatedly crash and end up in ICU again( see latest news for detailed updates). After his fourth visit, we were taken into a room and told we would be lucky if we had 12 months with him.
Finally on 16 September they decided he was well enough
for us to bring him home and enjoy our time with him. We weren't to know that our time would be so short. One week to the
day, 23 September, Damien started having trouble breathing so we took him back to the hospital. While the doctors were trying
to put him on a ventilator he went into cardiac arrest. We watched while the doctors and nurses worked with all they had to
bring our beautiful boy back. They couldn't. He was 18 months old and had just cut his 5th tooth.