Brads Story (1)

At 10.49am on Monday the 23rd of March 1992, weighing a healthy 3960gm, Brad Peter Drummond was born, stress free, by elective ceaserian at Palmerston North Hospital, New Zealand. After the initial new born squark, he has not stopped smiling since. Over the last 18 years, Brad has been through many painful procedures, never complaining and still smiling. Here is a brief outline of his life to date.

At 3 months of age Brad had developed an annoying cough. Not like a cold but more like a cough to get his breath out. Ventolin treatment was initally given, assuming it was asthma. A change of doctors, and a routine listen of the chest revealed that Brad had a heart murmur.

16/11/93. Our first specialist appointment was with a Paediatrician at Tauranga Hospital, NZ, by the name of Hugh Lees. This was the start of a long standing relationship between Dr. Lees and our family which we will forever be greatful for. We are still under Dr. Lees today as he does all of Brads follow up care.

11/01/94. Brad was referred to Greenlane Hospital, Auckland, for further investigations of his murmur. The combination of the fact that the murmur was strongly heard through Brad's back and the inability to get a good femoral pulse (in the groin), suggested that a possible coarctation of the Aorta was present. (A narrowed Aorta)

17/03/94. Greenlane Hospital. An ECG was carried out and a chest scan was attempted. As Brad was only aged two at this stage he was very frightened of all the big equipment and had to be sedated. Three times in fact. Ha Ha . The wonderful Dr J. Neutze, with his calm manner, managed to put this two year at ease. I had to laugh at his valiant attempt to keep his eyes open. He slept for about 12 hours when he could finally fight it no longer!! Today it was comfirmed that Brad would need heart surgery to repair his narrowed Aorta. Although a few tears had been shed by me up to this stage, the confirmation opened the flood gates big time. Heart surgery???? Bloody hell!!!

28/06/94. We have been concerned that Brad seems to be getting a little bit tired lately and can not keep up with his peers. He often sits down for a rest. He has woken often in the night with sore legs and takes a couple of hours, even with pain relief, for him to get back to sleep. At his appointment with Dr Lees today these concerns were noted and passed on to the Greenlane team. The cough continues but all asthma medication has stopped as "heart children" often have a cough and it has been linked to this.

13/11/94. The call we had been dreading. Brad was required to be at Greenlane Hospital on the 16th of November, to have his Aorta repaired on the 17th.  Nothing like short notice!! I was a mess. Of course we wanted Brad to get well, but the thought of giving them our healthy looking son, and operating on his heart was unbearable. There were so many "what if's" going through our heads. The poor woman on the other end of the phone could not make out a thing I said due to all the blubbering. I think this probably applied to many of our friends as well, as I frantically tried to let everyone know and organise, for the trip to Auckland.

16/11/94. Leaving Chloe, our then 3 year old with my mum and dad, Richard, Brad and I travelled the two and a half hour drive to Auckland, Brad grinning and coughing, me bawling. lol. He was admitted, blood tests done (didn't like that  much), ECG, X-ray, weighed, temp taken. At 3.30pm, the nurse came and told us to go home as an emergency had come in. Good reason to bawl some more. We were told to ring the next day to see if they could fit Brad in on the Friday 18th.

17/11/94. We were called back in at 2pm. It was all go again. Richard and I were shown around Intensive care to "soften" the shock when we were to see our own son hooked up to all the machines the next day. (Didn't work. lol) We saw a short video about ICU procedures and met the anethsatist. Brad was having a great time in the play room....... I bawled.

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