Lifestyle

Amelia gains appetite after battle

Baby Amelia Pierce and her mum Jenny Sutherland. Amelia was born with oesophageal atresia.
Baby Amelia Pierce and her mum Jenny Sutherland. Amelia was born with oesophageal atresia. Nicola Brander

AMELIA Pierce's parents waited five months to properly admire her sweet face.

The youngster was born with oesophageal atresia, a congenital condition which means that that the oesophagus does not properly join the stomach.

Amelia needed surgery at birth to insert a feeding tube directly into her stomach.

She also needed a tube in her mouth to drain saliva so that she did not choke.

At five months, she had further surgery to join her oesophagus and stomach which meant she could do away with the mouth tube.

It also meant that her parents, Jenny Sutherland and David Pierce, had a new daughter.

"As soon as they did the surgery, they took the tubes out. We'd never seen her face without a tube in it," Ms Sutherland said.

After spending her first five months in the Mater Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Amelia came home to Buderim where she continues to thrive.

She still receives formula through the gastrostomy tube to her stomach but is starting to experiment with food, showing a liking for chocolate custard, watermelon and Weet-Bix.

Mrs Sutherland has been told that could take up to two years for Amelia to eat and drink properly but she and her husband hope that she will be ready to eat her first birthday cake in five months time.

"She's showing more interest in food and touching things to her mouth," Mrs Sutherland said.

Mrs Sutherland said oesophageal atresia could affect children in different and multiple ways.

"We were very lucky that she only needed the two surgeries and, touch wood, she won't need any more," she said.

She said Amelia might have to eat slower and drink more water but she would otherwise be no different from any other child.

"I just want people to know that if something like this gets diagnosed in their family, it's not the worst thing," she said.

"If someone says there's going to be a baby in the family with oesophageal atresia, it's not that bad. The babies will grow and they will come to be just like every body else. It's a lot of hard work for the first couple of years but then everything will be all right."

 

Oesophageal atresia:

  • Affects about one in 4425 babies.
  • Occurs around 3-4 weeks gestation. Cause unknown.
  • Represents the failure of the oesophagus to develop as a continuous passage.
  • Comes in multiple configurations. Often, it is accompanied by tracheo-oesphageal fistula, where there is an abnormal opening between the trachea and oesophagus.
  • First signs can be an unusual amount of amniotic fluid while the mother is still pregnant.
  • The first signs at birth can be excessive drooling, coughing, choking and sneezing because the baby cannot swallow properly.

Topics:  health, surgery


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Together at last in one place

BUNNIES: Shearwater Class 4 students Mallee and Stan, sneak in a cuddle of their class spring bunnies.

SHEARWATER Steiner School open new Early Childhood Centre.

You are going to Falls for this music line-up

CONFIRMED: Local artist Bernard Fanning is part of the line up for Falls Festival Byron Bay.

The line-up and ticket purchase details have been announced.

Latest deals and offers

BALI MURDER: Fundraiser campaign to aid Sara Connor

FRIENDS of Byron Bay mum Sara Connor, currently detained in Bali, have created a crowdfunding website to support her and her family.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Together at last in one place

BUNNIES: Shearwater Class 4 students Mallee and Stan, sneak in a cuddle of their class spring bunnies.

SHEARWATER Steiner School open new Early Childhood Centre.

You are going to Falls for this music line-up

CONFIRMED: Local artist Bernard Fanning is part of the line up for Falls Festival Byron Bay.

The line-up and ticket purchase details have been announced.

Coorabell digs up its time capsule

TIME CAPSULE: All the kids from Coorabell Public School ready to open up the time capsule.

COORABELL digs up its past this Friday

Join the family fun of Bruns2Byron run

BYRON2BRUNS: Beach run family Peta McCallum with sons Archie, 8, Hugo, 11, and Ben, 8

Its just one week until the Byron2Bruns Beach Run.

Photographer returns to showcase history of work

Renowned Australian photographer, John Elliott, has visited Crows Nest several times over the past twelve months collecting portraits of residents for his exhibition The Crows Nest Portrait Project. Photo Contributed

For Mr Elliott, photography is about capturing the moment

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

You are going to Falls for this music line-up

CONFIRMED: Local artist Bernard Fanning is part of the line up for Falls Festival Byron Bay.

The line-up and ticket purchase details have been announced.

Rio 2016: So how many watched, tweeted it?

Jessica Fox in action during the Rio Games.

Tweets about #Rio2016 were viewed a staggering number of times

Thorsome: Anthony Hopkins in Brisbane

Sir Anthony Hopkins talks with Tom Hiddleston on the set of Thor: Raganok. Photo:  Jess Moller-Nielsen

Premier calls for extra tax relief for big movie makers in Qld

Cheap Fraser Coast island drops its price

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m

Guess which Sunshine Coast suburb cracked the million dollar list?

This four-bedroom home at 26 McAnally Dr, Sunshine Beach was for sale for $7 million.

List of Australia's five most-expensive suburbs

Does it get any better than this? Check out this $2M home

LUXURY LIVING: The Coral Cove home built by Steve Coates Constructions that took out the best home over $2 million and the Wide Bay Burnett House of the Year at the Master Builders Wide Bay Burnett Housing and Construction Awards.

Wide Bay's best home is right on our doorstep