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Sonny – A fundraising champion

Our son, Sonny, faced a life-threatening situation at just six weeks old. Over a two to three-day period, he gradually withdrew from feeding until one morning, he felt noticeably lifeless in the shower with his mother. Concerned, we rushed to the maternal health nurse. In the mere 20 minutes it took to get there, Sonny’s testicles had swelled to the size of a cricket ball, and his skin had become severely mottled.

The maternal health nurse urged us to act urgently, either calling an ambulance or rushing to Frankston Hospital. Upon arrival, we were ushered to a recess bed where the urgency of the situation became evident. Attempts to withdraw blood or administer fluids to Sonny proved futile. A doctor entered the room with a drill, and without anesthesia or explanation, drilled into Sonny’s leg. It was then revealed that Sonny had a hernia, and his bowel had looped through, entwining around one of his testicles.

Unfortunately, the required operation couldn’t be performed at Frankston Hospital. A pediatric surgeon worked to manipulate Sonny’s bowel back through the hernia. Still quite sick, Sonny needed to be transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital via a Piper transfer and was intubated for the journey. The intubation process was fraught with challenges, requiring five attempts, and on the fourth try, Sonny briefly arrested.

Being a twin, Sonny’s mother drove ahead with his brother Lenny to the Royal Children’s, while I waited to accompany the Piper transfer team. The entire ordeal, from entering Frankston Hospital to stabilizing Sonny for the Royal Children’s transfer, spanned around six to seven hours. A pediatric doctor at Frankston, on leaving her shift, expressed gratitude for our timely arrival, revealing that Sonny had only minutes to live upon reaching the hospital.

Upon arrival at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Sonny went straight from the ambulance into surgery with Professor Crameri. An hour later, he was in the ward, having been put into an induced coma. It was revealed that, in addition to the hernia and bowel issue, Sonny also had a gangrenous appendix. He spent two days in a coma, gradually being brought back to life. The moment he opened his eyes was the happiest in our lives.

Without the Royal Children’s Hospital, Sonny might not be here today.

The journey at the hospital was bittersweet. From the moment we entered, nerves and fear gripped us, but we knew it was the right place, especially with Sonny’s twin brother also at six weeks old. The hospital provided accommodation for Mom and Lenny, and we were invited to Ronald McDonald House for dinner.

Sonny spent six days at the Royal Children’s Hospital before being discharged, where he has since lived a happy, healthy, and fruitful life. This year, we’ve decided to collect bottles for the Victorian recycling deposit scheme, and Sonny has asked to donate the first $300 he makes to the Good Friday Appeal. This charity holds a special place in our hearts, and we are eager to share Sonny’s story to emphasise the life-saving impact of the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Thank you to Sonny’s father Andrew for sharing this story with the Good Friday Appeal.

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