Thursday’s Child

This is a condensed version about our first-born son Luke, from the time he was born in 1996, to just prior to his diagnosis in 1997…

Luke James Barreau arrived late on the 08/08/1996, but he didn’t come into this world without a fight. After an intensive labor, and a bit of elbow grease my female obstetrician, needed help as the position of Luke’s shoulders were preventing him from making a safe exit. So as luck would have it another capable obstetrician was on hand, a big brute of a man. After pushing Luke back, and turning him (as well as almost sending me through the roof in the process) he finally arrived into this world, or more importantly “our world.”

Luke met his milestones, and continued growing and doing the normal things babies did. He fed, he slept and he pooped! He did have a good head start in life, as he weighed 9 lb.

Months later he became difficult to settle, and would cry, so we employed “control crying”, I am not sure that it really helped long-term, more so in the short-term. Several trips to the GP, and Phenergan was prescribed to help him settle at night.

Little did we know, or more so I as a mum realise that Luke was sweating at night, a clue to his impending illness…

Around the end of September of the following year (1997) my mother in law was celebrating her birthday, and she made a comment that Luke looked quite jaundiced!  He also had quite a pot belly, like the African children, that are facing poverty and severely malnourished. I suppose we thought that was normal, we had been back to the GP prior, and they said Luke was “teething” and did not seem to be too concerned.

So my husband and my mother took Luke into see our local GP the following morning. After an examination, he noticed that yes Luke was indeed jaundiced, and his large, protruding stomach was a concern!

An X-Ray was ordered at the local hospital, and my husband and mother took Luke down there that afternoon, as I was working. Another follow-up appointment was made with the GP that afternoon for the results…it was certainly not what we expected!

The X-Ray showed an enlarged liver, quite possibly Hepatitis, and so without a proper diagnosis, we were referred onto the Women’s and Children’s Hospital here in Adelaide, for further investigation.

Our little man