During a routine scan when Kellie was 20-weeks pregnant with her third child, it was discovered that fluid had accumulated in her baby’s lungs.
What followed was weekly scans to monitor her baby and a referral to a specialist care team. As the fluid continued to gather (the cause of which was unknown), Kellie and her baby underwent four separate procedures to have the fluid drained.
Eventually the decision was made for Kellie to be induced at 34 weeks. When her son, Nate, was born, neither Kellie, nor her husband, Dean, were able to hold him, and saw only a brief glimpse of Nate before doctors rushed him away to be resuscitated and put on life support. Nate remained on life support for the next two months.
Since birth, Nate has been diagnosed with Pulmonary Lymphangectasia and Cerebral Palsy which was a result of multiple strokes. He also has multiple missing vasculatures throughout his body, obstructions within his heart, and a build-up of fluid in his brain for which he has undergone surgery.
The first nine months of Nate’s life was spent in hospital. During this time, Kellie was warned by Nate’s medical team that he may never be able to come home. Kellie and Dean were always at his side, caring for him and learning how to adapt to the life of raising a child with disability and complex medical needs, while juggling Dean’s work commitments and the needs of their two daughters who were both under the age of five.
During Nate’s long hospital stay, Kellie connected with members of Kiind’s Peer Navigation team who visited Nate frequently on the ward. We provided Kellie with regular Pathway sessions with an experienced Peer Navigator to assist with emerging support needs as Nate progressed through various milestones and points of transition.
After 260 days of endless tests, surgeries and trailing equipment, Nate proved himself to be a strong and resilient fighter and Kellie and Dean were finally able to take their son home.
Nate is now a smiley, happy six-year-old boy (and a big brother) who manages to consistently charm everyone around him. While his long hospital stay may be behind him, Nate’s journey continues with ongoing intensive therapies and regular appointments at Perth Children’s Hospital, where he and Kelly both always make sure to drop in and see the Kiind team.