From a stomach ache to heartbreak for Gladstone family
What started as a suspected stomach bug for one-year-old Amarlie O'Connor now sees her life, and the lives of her parents, face an uncertain future.
Amarlie's mum Brittney Jade spoke to The Observer in a tell-all interview on Thursday, which included how her eldest daughter wound up in a Brisbane hospital bed.
Ms Jade said on Sunday, May 23, Amarlie was in good spirits at a family dinner party.
After going to bed at her normal time, around 6.30pm, Amarlie suddenly woke up vomiting around 10.30pm.
"We thought she might have been getting the flu or something and maybe when she coughs, she vomits," Ms Jade said.
"She didn't have a cough so it was very unusual but at the same time a stomach bug was going around Gladstone so we thought that was what she had."
However, after two sleepless nights, Amarlie was waking up every hour attempting to vomit.
Ms Jade said Amarlie was barely moving by that stage due to exhaustion and was not drinking fluids, so a hospital trip was her only option.
"They started forcing fluids into her via syringe so she didn't have to have a nasal tube and she tolerated it," she said.
"The only reason we didn't get sent home was due to her not urinating during the four hours that we were in hospital, that worried her doctor."
Amarlie was admitted to the Gladstone Base Hospital where doctors continued to test for viruses and bugs.
"They decided they were going to do a CAT scan to rule out anything else to do with the brain," Ms Jade said.
"Within an hour of her results coming back on Tuesday afternoon we were pulled into a room and told they found a large mass on the right side of Amarlie's brain."
Amarlie was rushed to Brisbane on Tuesday night after suffering a seizure within an hour of her diagnosis, touching down at 2am Wednesday morning.
"Doctors performed a craniotomy because they were concerned about how much pressure there was around her brain," Ms Jade said.
"The surgery went well, however, the scariest part is the fact that she was perfectly fine and it happened in hours.
"Also, the fact we spoke to oncologists and neurosurgeons who deal with situations like Amarlie's daily and they were blown away.
"At this stage we don't have a diagnosis, which is the hardest part of it all."
A friend of the family set up a GoFundMe page for the family as Ms Jade's partner's annual leave is about to expire.
"We have absolutely no plan, no care plan and no word of when we are going to be able to go home," she said.
To donate, click HERE.
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