Motherhood: unconditional love; affection without any limitations, selflessness beyond bounds. This is Aurora and everything she stands for. She would go to the end of the earth for her son, Sebastian, so when he needed a liver transplant earlier this year, she was first in line – no questions asked.
At the end of last year, Sebastian’s parents noticed he had a swollen tummy. Assuming it was just baby fat, they took him to the doctor to make sure nothing was seriously. The news they received shocked them beyond belief. Their tiny baby boy had a mass growing on his liver the size of a small basketball. Removing the mass involved a complex surgery that could only be performed at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and so began Sebastian’s journey.
Sebastian and his parents, Aurora and Paul, were flown from their home in Perth, across the country to Westmead for Sebastian to undergo the surgery he needed. It was expected Sebastian would need a month at the Hospital to recover but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.
When surgeons removed the tumour, they found that the right side of Sebastian liver was not functioning properly and he deteriorated quickly. Sebastian needed a liver transplant immediately.
Without a second thought, Sebastian’s parents both underwent immediate testing to become potential live donors. Fortunately, Aurora was a match and within just days of testing, began the work-up process to donate her liver and save her baby’s life.
Just hours before Aurora was due to be operated on though, the call the family could only dream of arrived – a donor liver had become available.
Sebastian received his lifesaving liver transplant that night.
Following his transplant, Sebastian spent 58 days in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. It was an anxious wait for his parents to see how their little boy would recover but Sebastian’s strength and determination shone through and eventually he was well enough to move to the ward.
Since then, Sebastian has only continued to improve. He will need further surgery but is slowly getting back to the happy, smiley boy he was before.
This Mother’s Day, Aurora will spend her special day with Sebastian at the Hospital, which although 4000km from home, is the very best gift she could ask for.