Meet Malani

8th April, 2019

Malani gets a second chance at life after fighting blood poisoning, tumour and twisted bowel


For 70 horrific minutes, Malani Iuliano was resuscitated — the three-month-old’s body had shut down; the result of a life-threatening blood poison, kickstarted by a tumour and a twisted organ.

Incredibly, the Boronia baby has emerged largely unscathed and after 10 weeks in hospital, she is preparing to go home.

“A couple of the doctors have said, medically, this just doesn’t happen … there is no sign of any brain damage whatsoever at this stage,” mum Jacki said.

On Australia Day, Mrs Iuliano and husband Tu took their daughter — who was flip-flopping between screaming fits and sleep — to their closest hospital, The Angliss.

An ultrasound failed to find the cause, but soon after, Malani started to turn purple. Her stomach bloated, she started gasping for air and then her heart stopped.

Jackie and Tu were ushered out of the ED cubicle as the emergency call was sounded.

“When we could go in, it was the most horrific scene,” she said. “You could see the sepsis infection on her skin.

Specialists from the RCH travelled to the Upper Ferntree Gully hospital to stabilise her for transport to RCH — a trip they were not confident she would survive.

Once there, scans showed Malani had a twisted bowel, caused by a 9cm by 7cm tumour on her bowel.

Luckily, it was benign. Half her bowel was removed, and the remaining portion is now healed. “She’s been given such an incredible second chance,” Jacki said.


Originally published in the Herald Sun, 8 April, 2019

Words: Brigid O’Connell. Picture: Jay Town

To read the original story, visit the Herald Sun website

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