Harry's parent's, Leah and Sam, first met the NETS team when their baby boy was just two-days-old. It was an encounter they never expected but one they will be forever grateful for. Today, 13 months on, they had the chance to reunite with the nurses who saved Harry's life.
When Harry was born, Leah and Sam were expecting a happy, healthy baby boy. But shortly after entering the world, Harry become very sick, very quickly.
Doctors at his local hospital in Wagga suspected he had an infection but despite initial treatment, his condition continued to worsen and he went into multiple organ failure. With Harry in urgent need of specialist medical care, the Newborn & paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS) were called to transport him to a more specialised Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Upon arrival, NETS nurse, Hannah, assessed Harry and identified that his symptoms mirrored those of babies with congenital heart disease, a common birth abnormality affecting 1 in every 100 babies.
Recognising Harry was in cardiac distress, Hannah was able to administer the drug needed to alleviate the pressure in Harry's heart. This saved his life.
Once stable, Harry was transferred by NETS to the Grace Centre for Newborn Intensive Care at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, where he was formally diagnosed with critical aortic stenosis. The condition meant that Harry's aortic value was the size of a pinhole and was restricting the blood flow to the rest of his body.
At three weeks old, Harry underwent his first open heart surgery where surgeons transferred Harry’s pulmonary valve to his aorta and then implanted a donor valve where his pulmonary valve had been, thereby allowing blood to flow properly though his heart and around his body.
Harry spent six weeks in hospital recovering but bounced back quickly. He will need ongoing check-ups and further surgery down the track. For now though, he is living his life to the fullest, like any other one-year-old.