Kurt was born at 38 weeks, weighing a healthy 3.1 kg (7 lbs) on the 31st of March 2001.
He was my first-born and my husband's third son. Nothing showed on the scans I used to take regularly that there ever were going to be any problems.
Kurt drank normally, he was happy and healthy and everything seemed fine until he started out on solids. From "pooping" at normal intervals, Kurt started to do less less and less. He would show some discomfort and his face would go bright red, then when the sort of spasm left, he'd go back to normal, doing whatever he was doing up till that time.
I took him to a paediatrician, who said that what Kurt was experiencing was normal up to that point, he explained that once you start your baby on solids, they would poo less. He prescribed "Lansoyl" and "Bebegel" to ease the discomfort and and told me to take him back to be monitored. To cut a long story short, after going back and forth to this doctor and after trying everything, this doctor said that it was now time to do an x-ray and ultrasound on the abdomen to check if there was anything more serious. Kurt was by now 7 months old. From the results, a blockage was shown and that's when the doctor referred us to a consultant (Mr. Chris Fearne) for further tests. From the rectal biopsy, it emerged that Kurt had Hirschsprung's Disease.
It was an alien word to us, we couldn't even pronounce it, let alone spell it !! It was also a terrifying time for us as we couldn't imagine how the future was going to be like, especially since Mr. Fearne explained that Kurt had to be fitted with a colostomy bag, a part of the recovery process, as the operation to remove parts of the diseased colon was done in stages. The bag that would be fitted was to help the healthy colon heal inside.
First operation for staging laparotomy and colostomy was performed exactly 10 days before his first birthday - 21st March 2002.He had a good post op recovery and were sent home a couple of days before his birthday to celebrate it at home. We were told to go back to hospital 3 months time to get the second stage of the operation done.
We coped during that time but it wasn't easy, in fact at times it was horrifying. We had "accidents" when the colostomy "popped", when it filled up with "gas".We had to learn how to clean the bag and change it. Not a pleasant task at all!! We also had to be extra vigilant to keep the area around the "stoma" clean because we wanted to keep any infections at bay.