On 2 May 2006 Samuel John Noel Christie was born in Waikato
Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand. It was a rocky start and a shock to
our family, however Samuel’s determination to be here was
overwhelming. We all fell in love with our Samuel the minute we saw
him – there was strength in those eyes and also a twinkle which is
|Samuel had his first cranial operation at six months at Starship
Hospital in Auckland. That was extremely emotional for us all, and
Samuel came out of theatre on life support in a morphine induced
coma. On day three we were greeted with the most beautiful smile,
and this little boy sitting in his bed waiting for his mum and dad.
We felt like we had won the lottery, as our boy was back with us.
|At 11 months Samuel had his first surgery on his hands which are
from what we have seen and can tell quite severe. The surgery was
hours longer than anticipated, and the wait almost unbearable,
however we got there in the end. Samuel had a few difficulties
straight after surgery with his wind pipe swelling, and his
breathing was very strained. Once that was sorted lumps started
appearing on his head from the pressure of lying in surgery for the
length of time – so a pretty scary day for us all. The next day
however Samuel was starving for food and a bottle, and once again we
had smiles and a happy wee man. The following six-eight weeks were
long, with dressings either daily or every second day, a variety of
infections both in his hands and in the skin graft areas – and of
course a wee man who insisted on biting off the bandages at every
opportunity. Nothing stopped him though and there were few things he
couldn’t manage with those hands bandaged. Not one cry from him (a
few from his mother) at the bandage changes – we knew when it hurt
as he lay back on his dad but never once pulled his hands away from
nurses changes bandages. His big sister always there with
encouraging words about her “brave wee man”.
|Since then Samuel has grown and evolved into an amazing wee man.
He is now 17 months old, and we are soooo proud of him. He is adored
by us all – especially his big sister Lilly who is 4 ˝.
Samuel is doing everything a 17 month old child does – he is
walking and is desperate to run. He climbs on anything he possibly
can – and he manoeuvres objects so he can climb higher – you cant
take your eyes off him for too long or he has pulled chairs up to
the bench to get up on the bench to get things. He is full of smiles
and kisses and hugs – extremely vocal – very social – and lots of
fun. We honestly never thought we would be where we are now in those
early days – our diagnosis was so grim initially – more I think from
not being aware of what Apert Syndrome actually is as we were the
first Apert baby born in Waikato Hospital. Samuel definitely wasn’t
listening to any of it – and he is doing great.
This page was created November 1, 2007