Coast baby’s incredible fight to stay alive
SCARLETT Furner should be throwing spaghetti across the floor of her Mudgeeraba home.
Instead the 10-month-old is fighting to live after developing sepsis following three open heart surgeries.
Since April 15, her mum Ashleigh Taylor and dad Josh Furner have been at their daughter's bedside in Brisbane's Queensland Children's Hospital. Due to coronavirus restrictions, they had to leave Scarlett's 5-year-old brother Connor on the Gold Coast and they have not been able to see him for weeks.
"She's currently battling a urosepsis which we knew about, but there's a second blood infection we didn't know about so once they changed her antibiotics to one that was just killing off the urosepsis, her second sepsis got worse and her organs started to struggle," Ms Taylor said from Scarlett's bedside yesterday.
Born with complicated congenital heart defects, at just four weeks Scarlett had open heart surgery and despite going into cardiac arrest, surgeons managed to get her heart restarted.
"Her second open heart surgery was on April 15 but unfortunately the surgery failed and she went into arrest and was placed on extracorporeal life support, a machine that does the work of the heart by oxygenating the blood," Ms Taylor said.
A week later surgeons performed a third open heart procedure, telling Ms Taylor they would "be more confident in Scarlett if she had one healthy lung, but with a bad heart and two unhealthy lungs, it was high risk".
"Our surgeon told us afterwards he never expected her to make it like she has. She is truly a fighter. We have had kidney, liver, brain, spleen and other organs taking hits and slowly repairing,'' she said.
"She has had platelet dysfunction causing her to bleed into her skin, countless lung infections, seizures and so many more battles that it is overwhelming. Scarlett has also had IV lines burn into her skin that are being addressed by the burns team.
"The brain damage is going to be an unknown factor as to how it will affect her growing up."
Speaking of his baby girl, whose loves spaghetti and bouncing on her brother's knee on the couch, Mr Furner said "she is the very definition of not giving up".
Ms Taylor said Scarlett "is the happiest baby girl despite everything she's been through, she never stops smiling''.
Scarlett's parents are staying with friends after no longer being able to afford a hotel room. The couple are also unable to work, instead spending their savings so they can be at their daughter's side.
"We just have to keep going because we have to. But there are lots of adrenaline rushes, fears and worries. Until our baby girl is back on the ward, where one of us can stay, we're staying with family and they make sure we take care of ourselves," she said.
Ms Taylor urged Gold Coasters to donate blood, plasma and platelets because Scarlett relies on them to live and receives them daily.
A Go Fund Me page, Scarlett's Heart, is hoped to help ease the family's financial burden.
Originally published as Coast baby's incredible fight to stay alive