Attlee was born nine-days-early in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead with a hole in her diaphragm. Her tiny organs were putting so much pressure on her heart that it had moved to the right side of her chest.
For first time parents, Georgha and Kodi, all they hoped for was a healthy and happy baby. So, you could imagine their fear when specialists broke the news that Attlee might not survive.
“It was the most gruelling time our life. Seeing all the tubes attached to her tiny body and wondering what would happen next was terrifying,” parents Georgha and Kodi said.
Attlee was immediately placed on a controlled oxygen supply because medical specialists were concerned her lungs might rupture from the pressure.
After six days of care, Attlee had surgery to repair her diaphragm. Specialists told Georgha and Kodi that she had a 70% chance of survival, but it was her only option.
“We were terrified,” said Georgha, “but we knew Attlee was in the right place. Her medical team always spoke to us in a way that helped us understand what Attlee needed or what was going on.”
Georgha and Kodi live in Parkes, NSW, and first received Attlee’s Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) diagnosis at their 20-week scan, they were immediately referred to a specialist team at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, a six-hour drive from their home.
Every month Georgha and Kodi would drive to their scan and specialist appointments in Sydney. Although it was a stressful time for them, they expressed their gratitude for the level of expert care and support they received from everyone at the hospital.
“We would arrive at the hospital and be met by the incredible staff from the Perinatal Advice, Referral and Liaison Service (PEARLS) team. They knew how long we had been driving and would do all they could to make things comfortable and efficient for us. We are so grateful to them,” Georgha said.
Every day, children and families from all across NSW travel hundreds of kilometres to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for specialised treatment.
After many weeks in hospital Georgha and Kodi were finally able to take Attlee home. Attlee has continued to grow, develop and meet her childhood milestones.
When Attlee was first introduced to solids Georgha was concerned she was having trouble swallowing certain foods.
She reached out to the hospital and met via telehealth with a speech pathologist who assessed Attlee’s eating via video and found everything to be normal.
“The level of care we have received for Attlee has been incredible. Without it, she wouldn’t be here!” said dad, Kodi.
Every day hundreds of seriously sick and injured children like Attlee, need urgent critical care and specialised treatment across Sydney’s Children’s Hospitals Network.