Western Leader : December 2nd 2010
www.westernleader.co.nz Thursday, December 2, 2010 Message from the PM John Key The National Burn Cen- tre at Middlemore Hos- pital, and regional burn units around the country, provide vital healthcare for many New Zealanders. They make a real dif- ference to the patients they treat and I d like to thank them for their good work. I m delighted the Mad Butcher and Suburban Newspapers Community Trust is teaming up in support of the National Burn Centre. Operation Heal is seeking to raise $200,000 for a high-tech microscope, which would be used in recon- structive and plastic surgery for burns patients. The National-led gov- ernment is spending more on health to make sure New Zealanders get essential services. High-tech medical equipment is very expensive, so it s great when local communities get involved in fundraising. I encourage you to show your support by making a donation. -- Prime Minister John Key Working with burns patients P5 Watch the PM at www. western leader.co.nz Cameron's a survivor Major surgery: Cameron Reardon was just a few days old when he underwent a heart operation. Living proof: Staff at Waitakere Hospital were pleased to catch up with Cameron Reardon after treating him since he was born with two holes in his heart. Back row from left: Paediatrics ward clerk Feao Solomona-Kapeteni, hospital play specialist Tiana Brookes, and nurse educator Jaye Fuller. Front row: Brenda Reardon, Cameron Reardon and paediatrician Stefan van der Walt. By CATHERINE HEALY PAEDIATRICIAN Stefan van der Walt remembers his first meeting with Cameron Reardon well. He was a scrawny little thing, just a few days old. He had pneumonia, a chest infec- tion and was going into heart failure. He was really sick. We didn t know about the holes in his heart at the time. I found that when I examined him. Cameron has since been admitted to hospital more than 20 times as medical staff treated his life- threatening health problems. But this week he didn t have to endure any procedures when he popped in to Waitakere Hospital with his mum -- he was just there to say thanks. Medical staff once feared Cameron wouldn t make it to five years old. But the little boy is now preparing to start school next year. The holes in his heart were operated on at Starship but Waitakere Hospital staff diagnosed him and treated him since. Dr van der Walt and Cameron had their first reunion this week since the original diagnosis. Cameron s mum Brenda says Dr van der Walt has had a major role in getting her son better. It wasn t easy. He struggled with feeding, he kept getting chest infections. We basically lived here at Waitakere Hospital for the first three months of his life, she says. It got to a point where my husband said, I don t want them to test him any more, because every time they test him they find something else wrong with him , she says. The Reardons were living in Massey when Cameron was born but are now in Kaukapakapa. Community nurse Jaye Fuller visited the Reardons once or twice a week over the years to monitor Cameron. I think the hardest thing was that we thought getting the holes in his heart fixed would be the end of it. But he was still breathing too fast and aspirating food into his lungs. He was unable to co- ordinate his feeding and so he was fed through a tube in his nose, then a button in his stomach, she says. That button was only removed when Cameron was three years old. Now he s still learning about texture and trying new foods. Brenda says he s a little behind where a five-year-old should be developmentally. But it doesn t stop him. He tries to keep up with his big brother. Hospital play specialist Tiana Brookes is pleased to see Cameron doing so well now. I remember it looked so bleak, we weren t sure if he d make it. He s so resilient to have come through it all. Tiana did all she could to make the hospital stays easier. It was about supporting Brenda as much as we could, particularly when they were in hospital for Cameron s first Christmas with their 18-month-old Zac to look after as well. Brenda says the family could not have coped without the support of hospital staff.
November 30th 2010
December 3rd 2010