Quinn endured 21 surgeries in the first 10 weeks, after his bowel twisted in utero. He is now four years old thanks to The Royal Children's Hospital.
The Easter period evokes mixed emotions for the O’Leary family.
It serves as a reminder of how precarious bubbly Quinn’s early days, spent fighting for life at The Royal Children’s Hospital, were.
The brave Moolap boy celebrated his fourth birthday on Saturday. But mum Brooke said this time of year also brought back memories of 2017, when Quinn endured 21 surgeries in his first 10 weeks.
One of those was on Good Friday, while the Good Friday Appeal raised money to care for kids like Quinn during the annual appeal.
Quinn was transferred to the RCH just hours after he was born. It was to be his home for 101 days, after his bowel had twisted in utero.
Just days into his life, it twisted again, due to a condition known as malrotation of the volvulus.
When Quinn was just a few days old, his family was told to prepare for the worst.
But doctors worked removing parts of his bowel and prescribed him innovative medication, and he has wowed loved ones with his resilience. Quinn bears a scar on his stomach from his time in hospital, and Mrs O’Leary said he had seen photos of himself in hospital as a bub.
“We did explain to him that he was sick when he was a baby,” she said.
“We’ve told him: ‘They had to cut you open to make you better’.
“He’s quite happy and proud of his scar and shows it to people.”
Mrs O’Leary said Quinn had not experienced any further complications since he was a baby, and had outgrown allergies.
She described her son as happy-go-lucky and affectionate.
“He loves life, always smiling,” Mrs O’Leary said. “It’s almost like he knows what we went through with him.
“He just blows us away.”
She urged people to support the Good Friday Appeal.
“The Royal Children’s Hospital saved our son’s life, without them I have no doubt he wouldn’t be here,” Mrs O’Leary said.
“We’re very lucky and fortunate to have them only an hour away from where we live.
“They went above and beyond to save his life, we owe them the world.
“We’ll be forever grateful, and always donating and trying to fundraise.”
Give for the Kids
Your donations to the Good Friday Appeal help kids like Quinn.
Originally published in the Geelong Advertiser, 31 March 2021
Words: Tamara McDonald
Photo: Peter Ristevski
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