A mum who lost six babies before giving birth to a “miracle” boy has told of her devastation after he was diagnosed with a rare incurable...
A mum who lost six babies before giving birth to a “miracle” boy has told of her devastation after he was diagnosed with a rare incurable condition at one day old.
Early last year doctors told Melissa Mahon, from Co Meath, she would never conceive again due to a condition which occurs as a result of recurrent pregnancy loss.
Heartbreakingly the 34-year-old suffered six miscarriages over the space of five years, losing her first baby when she was five months pregnant.
Having given up on the hope of ever becoming a mother and being told that fertility treatment would not work, Melissa and her partner Mark Gaughan were stunned when she naturally fell pregnant last summer.
She gave birth to little Kian on March 4 but delight turned to devastation when the tot was rushed to intensive care before being transported to Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
A biopsy later confirmed the precious boy was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, a rare condition where nerves are missing from parts of the large intestine, causing serious problems with passing waste.
September marks Hirschsprung’s disease awareness month with Kian being the first in Ireland this year to be born with the condition that affects just one in 5,000 babies.
His parents spent almost four months manually washing out his bowel three times a day until he had surgery on July 10 to remove the abnormal section of the large intestine.
Speaking of the family’s emotional journey, Melissa said: “It was devastating, I waited my whole life to be a mother then I was told that I couldn’t conceive. Kian was my miracle baby and now he was being taken away from me.
“He had to get a biopsy and there was a three-day wait to get the results. During that time he was extremely sick, he was in an incubator and peg fed.
“To see how sick he was with tubes everywhere was heartbreaking.”
At four months old, little Kian underwent a five hour pull-through operation where a surgeon removes the affected part of the bowel and then connects the healthy section directly to the anus.
Melissa said: “When your baby is taken off you at the door of the theatre and put under anaesthetic, it is gut wrenching. Thankfully it was a success and he went to the toilet himself the next day.”
While the disease is not life threatening, sufferers are at risk of enterocolitis, an infection that can be fatal.
Melissa added: “The next five years are going to be the hardest, we won’t know until he starts potty training how he will be affected.
“He will either suffer from constipation or incontinence.
“He can live a normal, healthy life but you need to look out for this infection.
“We can’t get over how strong he is, he’s six months old and meeting all of his milestones.
“He has never given up – he is our little fighter.”
- Kian’s uncle Colin is doing a skydive to raise funds for Crumlin Children’s Hospital. Details on how to donate can be found on www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ColinSkydive.