We loved the Just Craft! Mega Craft Pack so much that we asked them if they would like to be a part of our “Random Acts of Kid-ness” for July as we have been told about a little boy who loves Minions and spends a lot of time in hospital. Of course, they said “Yes!” and we will be sending Campbell a Just Craft! Mega Craft Pack – perfect for long stays in hospital. Thank you Just Craft!
Six year old Campbell has Biliary Atresia. Biliary Atresia is a life threatening disease affecting 1 in 20,000 births. By 8 weeks old, the bile ducts within Campbell’s liver had disintegrated and the bile was ‘trapped’ in his liver.
He required lifesaving surgery immediately, and a surgery called the ‘Kasai’ procedure (where the surgeon uses 20cm of the small intestine to act as his bile duct) was performed on 9 week old Campbell. The surgery has only a 25% chance of being fully successful and his liver having drainage.
The operation took 7 hours to complete, was not successful for 3 months and then at week 15 just like a miracle it began to drain bile! Unfortunately, almost 6 months of bile trapped in his liver had done its damage and Campbell now has severe liver cirrhosis, enlarged spleen, oesophageal varices, portal hypertension and many other symptoms that come with liver disease.
He will require a liver transplant to survive.
Kylie, Campbell’s mum, says
“Cam was born healthy but at 2 days old he started to yellow. ‘It’s normal for newborns’ we were told, at 1 week old we went back and got some blood tests, ‘it’s all normal’ we were again told so off we went! 2 weeks old we asked again for blood to be taken only to be told it’s probably breast milk jaundice and to forget about it but that was hard as he was getting more yellow by the day. ‘Put him in sunlight’, ‘He’s just fine, look how big he’s getting!’ Those comments haunt me to this day as deep down I knew something was wrong but I took ‘the professionals’ word for it and just carried on.
At 8 weeks old Campbell had quite a ‘sun tan’ and we all giggled because it actually looked really good, that ‘sun tan’ was harbouring quite a different story and one of the main symptoms in a disease I’d never heard of! Campbell, we were told after we requested a specialist paeditrician to look at our new baby, was likely to have a disease called Biliary Atresia! To help find out if ‘BA’ was what was wrong with Campbell we needed to get an ultrasound, that Friday afternoon is when our lives turned around.
Dr. Luke Sammartino, our family paediatrian and now very close family friend, viewed the scans and sent us straight to The Royal Children’s Hospital. Campbell’s blood had to be taken, at 8 weeks of age that’s a difficult thing to watch, the results showed what the doctors suspected, very high Bilirubin and stress on his tiny liver. The diagnosis of BA had to be confirmed via biopsy of the liver so 3 days after initially being told by Dr. Luke we may have a very sick child was one of the first times I let surgeons take my baby, the first of many times within Campbell’s life!”
In total Campbell has had over 20 admissions in the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, in excess of 10 procedures performed on him and 100’s of blood draws and invasive procedures and although his liver is very damaged, Campbell likes to do the normal things any 6 year old does! He loves school, playing with his brothers Cooper and Ashtyn, his friends and having fun!
The gastroenterology team based at the hospital have plans set in place to care for Campbell; he is quite a unique child due to BA with only around 8-10 new cases seen at RCH every year and each child is different than the other!
Whilst his family are trying to help Campbell keep his own liver for as long as possible, they know that the day they will have to hand him over again for the fight of his life.
Campbell and his family are truly inspirational. They show such strength and positivity. Stay healthy Campbell, we hope you enjoy your Just Craft! Mega Craft Pack.
Campbell’s family have asked that you please support The Royal Children’s Hospital.
“It saved our sons life and you never know when you might need their help!!!! We are forever in its debt!!!”
If you would like to donate click HERE.
For more information on Just Craft! and the Mega Craft pack click HERE.
ARE YOU FEELING SOCIAL?
NOMINATE FOR OUR NEXT RANDOM ACTS OF KID-NESS NOW
If you would like to nominate yourself, or someone you know, for a Random Acts of Kid-ness please fill out the form located HERE.
We take your privacy seriously and will only disclose information you approve.