Oliver was born on Mothering Sunday in March 2015 but everything was not as we hoped and dreamed. Three letters was how they explained what happened that day: HIE – hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. He had sustained a brain injury due to lack of oxygen.
Our baby was rushed off by ambulance to an ICU for specialist therapeutic cooling to try and minimise the impact of the damage. Heavily sedated and ventilated, we were told the next 24hrs were critical. Against the odds, Oliver pulled through and kept fighting. We spent 5 turbulent weeks in ICU and then moved to a local hospital for a further 8 weeks whilst we tried to juggle family life. He came home at 3 months old.
At 10 days old an MRI scan revealed damage to the part of his brain that controlled his motor skills. We were told he may never see, hear, walk, talk or eat. At 5 weeks old we heartbreakingly first heard the words cerebral palsy.
Oliver has low muscle tone and severe bulbar palsy. At 8 months old he had an operation to have a gastrostomy. Oliver still has no swallow reflex and is 100% tube fed. As a result he is always at risk of aspiration pneumonia and Oliver has been hospitalised twice in the past year with respiratory distress due to a collapsed lung. We spent his 1st birthday in hospital.
There is no cure for Oliver but we know that early intervention is key and with the right therapies we hope to give him the best chance in life possible. Every day is a struggle for him, with continuing therapies, daily exercises and regular regimes to help his lungs. Even so his determination is relentless. He is the most endearing and loveable little boy, who keeps on fighting and getting stronger regardless of how hard it is for him. We don’t meet milestones, we meet inch stones, but every small gain is huge for us. He is surrounded by love, and we will never give up. There is no quick fix, but we will leave no stone unturned.
We need to support Oliver’s ongoing therapies and specialist equipment needs. This is how your contribution could help:
£13 pays for 1 session hyperbaric oxygen therapy for stimulation of dormant brain tissue;
£20 pays for 1 session of conducive education for cognitive skills;
£40 pays for 1 hippo therapy (horse riding) session to work on core muscles;
£50 pays for 1 CME session, exercises to work on strength and balance;
£70 pays for 1 session at Kids Physio Works, a physiotherapy Center that specialises in neuro-rehabilitation for children;
£160 pays for 1 swallow therapy session with VitalStim – neuromuscular electrical stimulation;
£340 pays for an intensive course of ABM, a neuromovement approach that helps movement beyond pain and limitation;
£1000 pays for an intensive course of Bobath treatment, a specialist centre providing physio and speech and language therapy for children with cerebral palsy
Our journey so far has been the most challenging thing we have ever been through, but Oliver and his wonderful big brother Edward keep us pushing on. The future can seem overwhelming but the joy of their love keeps us going.
Thank you for taking time to read Oliver’s story.