At her 20-week ultrasound, Terri found out her baby had a cyst in his bowel. Because of this, he was monitored closely throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. In a follow-up scan, the cyst seemed to have disappeared, however, it was clear there was a bowel obstruction, which would require surgery shortly after his birth. Baby Reggie arrived five weeks early, though still a healthy 7 lbs. 2 oz., which ended up being an advantage, as the bigger and stronger he was for surgery, the better. He was whisked off from the Foothills to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, where, at two days old, he went into a very big operation.
Dr. Andrea Lo and her team found the cyst was still there and, while it was benign, it had bent Reggie’s small intestine, causing a blockage and irreparable damage to approximately 10 cm worth of bowel. Dr. Lo removed the dead bowel and reattached the two healthy ends, which she later described to Terri and her fiancé Spencer as similar to stitching wet tissue paper together. Terri and Spencer were waiting anxiously to find out how the surgery went, so they were relieved when Dr. Lo emerged after three hours to tell them it was a complete success without any complications or the need for an ostomy bag.
Reggie spent a month in the Edwards Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where specialists worked carefully to introduce food to his body, just a tiny bit at a time, in order to teach his re-wired digestive system how to work on its own. Eventually, Reggie got the hang of it and Terri says she had never been happier to see poop! Once he got onto a regular eating schedule and was able to digest breastmilk, he had a huge appetite, says Terri. “You could tell he was so hungry!” she says. After a few days on Unit 2, Reggie was able to go home for the very first time since he was born. However, a couple weeks later he was back for a liver biopsy and another Unit 2 stay after his jaundice persisted. He was put on liver enzyme meds and quickly, his jaundice faded away. Terri says she’s pretty sure this was Reggie’s sneaky way of getting back to see the nurses he’d grown to love!
Today Reggie is home and healthy, being pampered by his big sisters. Terri says she is incredibly grateful to have had the expertise and care at the Children’s available so close to home and is so appreciative of the staff’s kindness. “You have to have a good heart to work there,” she says.
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