Corbin was Miracle Mum Karen's second baby. She was induced with him at 37 + 5 weeks. She spent several days in hospital after a very hard labour that left her quite sore.

Karen explains how she started to notice something wasn't quite right with baby Corbin.

"I started noticing something was different with Corbin. On day three we were having to hold him upright for the entire duration between feeds, as he would vomit. After multiple observations by midwives and a doctor, I was told Corbin was OK and it was just reflux.

At his 3pm feed, I decided to call the midwife again. Corbin was hungry and just couldn't feed. My first son had reflux and my gut told me this wasn't reflux. The midwife observed Corbin and agreed something was not quite right. It was his grunting while feeding which alerted them he was struggling to breathe. She took his obs, and for a split second his heart rate went up to 220 and his oxygen levels dropped drastically. She called for her team leader who agreed to give NICU a call. At this point we didn't know this midwife would save Corbin's life.

We took Corbin up to the NICU, his obs were still fine, great even, but they decided to keep him based on the previous observations and my instinct. They said he would most likely be here for 48 hours worst case scenario. That night Corbin took a turn for the worse. He was febrile and was moved into intensive care. On day four, the bloods came back and were positive for E. coli and he was sepsis. He then needed a platelet transfusion and was being monitored for seizures and was on CPAP. He then had to have a lumbar puncture which returned positive results that there was bacteria in his spinal fluid and he had bacterial meningitis.The doctors explained he would need three weeks of antibiotic treatment.

The next three weeks felt like an eternity. While I sat there at my absolute lowest, I watched my baby lay there almost lifeless. He was so sick from the infection he couldn't eat, cry or even open his eyes. I would ask the doctors repeatedly would he be OK but they couldn't give me the answer I wanted to hear. They couldn't tell me if the bacteria had affected his brain or his central nervous system or if it had, what that wound mean for his life in the future. The only reassurance they could give me was they could treat the meningitis but not its effects.

Fast forward three weeks, Corbin had to have another MRI, more blood tests and another lumbar puncture which all came back fairly positive. He responded well to the antibiotics and it killed the bacteria which meant we could finally take him home.

The doctors told me if I had come to the NICU 24 hours later or had gone home, there would have been nothing they could have done to save Corbin.

Often as parents we worry if we are overreacting about our child and we often don't back ourselves. From this experience I have learnt to always trust your instincts because your never know when it may save your child's life.

Nearly one year on and my beautiful baby is thriving and has beaten all the odds. All tests have returned a low risk for any permanent disability. I don’t know how we can be so unlucky but lucky at the same time. But I do know that everyday I am thankful for the doctors and nurses in the NICU at John Hunter Hospital. Because of them, I have my baby today.

I am very fortunate to have a happy ending to my story because we came so dangerously close to it ending very differently.


Thanks to Miracle Mum Karen for sharing her story.

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