Axel's Story

Written by Katie Potocki, Axel’s mother:

Axel was born on 1st October 2008 at 38 weeks weighing 2.8kg. His first week of life was an experience.  As a new mum I didn't know what to expect, however what happened was not normal.

Axel never slept and refused to eat.  When he did drink my milk, he would fill a beach towel with vomit. After a week and a half, he lost a lot of weight.  When Axel was 12 days old we visited our local public hospital. After hours of waiting, we finally saw a doctor and were told Axel has reflux, to go home and take some Zantac. Two days later Axel wouldn't wake up.  He was drowsy and his nappy had blood in it from his urine.

I rang my mum to ask if this was normal and she said it wasn't, so we rushed Axel to the Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick.  When we arrived a doctor saw us immediately. The Emergency Department doctors conducted many tests and even a lumber puncher test (which saw Axel bent in half as they inserted the needle into his spine). I stood there helpless, not knowing what to do.

Axel was rushed to an x-ray where they placed die into his tummy to see what was going on.  From that moment we knew the outcome wasn't good, as they were on the phone to a specialist booking an operating theatre.

They rushed Axel out and said they found a blockage, meaning nothing could pass through to his stomach. 

This meant he hadn’t been able to eat or drink for two weeks since his birth, and he would not have survived another 24 hours!

My heart stopped!! I didn't know what to say or do, except wait.

After the emergency operation, Axel was placed into Intensive Care for a week to help aid his recovery.  Whilst in Intensive Care they ushered all the parents out of the room as a child was extremely sick and required open heart surgery then and there. I was so impressed these doctors could do this to save someone's child’s life.

Axel recovered from his illness and has had regular visits to the Sydney Children’s Hospital. He is now 6 years old and a very vibrant little boy.