Jack is the younger of a set of twins. He was starved of oxygen following the delivery of his twin sister and resultantly suffered severe brain damage. His disability was evident almost immediately as he was unable to swallow and even manage his own secretions and was given the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy just days later. He required weeks of ventilation following birth and was hospitalised for 10 weeks.
Jack was given a Gastrostomy and fundoplication operation at 15weeks of age, weighing only 3kg, to assit feeding and reduce reflux, as he was failing to thrive. Since birth he has required 24/7 supervision, to prevent aspiration and choking due to inability to manage secretions.
Jack's first winter saw recurrent hospital admissions with various viral infections and pnuemonia, one requiring intensive care.
Over the last 2 years Jack has had various operations, including removal or tonsils and adenoids to increase airway space, removal of salivary glands to reduce secretions and insertion of a permanent Jejunostomy to overcome significant abdominal problems through feeding into the stomach.
Jack's original prognoisis was bleak; "won't walk, talk, sit, stand or crawl". But despite his continued inability to deal with secretions he has overcome this original outlook. He learned to sit up at 2 and a half, learned to crawl at 3 and over the last year his communication skills and understanding has come on leaps and bounds. He can sign whole nursery rhymes, tell us which of his favourite tv programs he wants to watch, tell us where he wants to go, count and is in training to operate a high tech communication aid.
Jack is a determined Little Man with such a desire to learn and advance, he has a terrific sense of humour and despite his continued requirement for constant supervision, bring endless rewards to our family.
Our aim is for Jack to attend mainstream school (albeit part time) with his twin sister next September.