Abby’s story

Abby Rose Harrison

By Niki Harrison

photo2Abby was born on the 11th of July 2008. The day before her birth after several ultrasounds and an amniocentesis we were told Abby may have slight learning difficulties. We were prepared for that. Then at 37 weeks and 4 days I was induced and Abby was born. After a couple of hours of not knowing if Abby had survived, one of the doctors emerged to report to us that Abby  wasn’t breathing by herself and had funny little feet. There were Doctors and nurses everywhere and I was on a high due to all the pethidine but from  what my husband told me, the delivery was a horrific 5 minutes. She couldn’t breathe as her holes in her nose were there but she had no nasal passages so they put a breathing tube in her mouth.

They rushed her out of the room and after about 2 hours a nurse came in and told us our little princess needed to be rushed to the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. I was devastated as only really sick children went there. So we got to see her before they took her away. I was given a picture of her and a Variety club Lion. I was so upset they took our baby and gave us a toy Lion!!!

Steve and I stayed the night at Dandenong hospital and first thing in the morning we drove to the Children’s Hospital. My first step into that hospital was one of the hardest moments of my life. I had never been to that hospital and really wished I hadn’t of. I was a mess.

We went up to NICU to find our little princess laying there with tubes everywhere. It was heartbreaking. (I cry as I write this) We then had a Doctor come in and see us and take us into a room with a social worker and told us to prepare to say goodbye to our princess Abby. We were inconsolable.

Abby was born with quite a few problems the main one being the condition of her feet. It is called Rocker Bottom feet otherwise known as Vertical Talus. The shape of each foot is like the bottom of a rocking horse. This condition is normally lethal as it contains deadly chromosomes. As it worked out Abby didn’t have those Chromosomes. This is the reason she is still with us. She also had no nasal passages so an operation at 2 days old was needed for that. She also has 11 sets of ribs instead of 12, slight scoliosis, agenisis of the corpus callosum, and is deaf.

We stayed at the children’s for 28 days then got to take Abby home. Our lives had changed forever. When they operated on her nasal passages they put stents in her nose to keep the holes open. So we were constantly cleaning out those stents with a suction machine. Everywhere Abby went the machine went. If they got blocked up she couldn’t breathe so we had to be on the ball 24/7. They stayed in for 4 months. During the 4 months she got Bronchitis so back to the children’s we went. She had a very low immune system and would get ill all the time.

At 9 months she developed swine flu and was admitted to the hospital again, this time for approximately 9 nights.

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Then it was time to organise to fix her feet. So a time was booked to operate on them but first we had to try and pull her tendons… So for 7 weeks on a Monday morning we would get up, feed Abby, put her in the bath to soak off her plaster casts and went to the children’s hospital by 8am.

Abby has been well for quite some time now. Her immune system seems to be quite good.There they would re cast her. It was a long 7 weeks. Then she had her operation and she had metal rods put in her feet/legs to keep everything in place. After 4 weeks she went back in for an operation to take the rods out. They were very happy with the outcome of the operation and see no reason why Abby won’t walk. She now wears orthotics on her feet and legs everyday to keep her feet straight.

At the age of 2 Abby’s scoliosis was getting better due to the purchase of a special pram that cost $6500. We paid $2500 of this so we could get the pram quickly. Waiting for funding takes way too long. This pram went  back to the State Wide Equipment Program because if you don’t pay more than ½ of the cost then effectively you never own it.

Abby has a standing frame that was $1200. This was funded by Yooralla.

Abby now has a walking frame that was $3500 and a bike that was $1600.Abby has a new Pram that clips into cars like a wheel chair does. This Pram is $8000. The government paid some of this and the rest was funded by Windermere.

She has been attending the Aurora school for the deaf in Blackburn since October 2011. She gets picked up from home and dropped off by a maxi cab with 4 other children. When she started going in the cab she was very distraught. She loves watching Dora the explorer so I got together with my face book friends and we sold $1000 worth of chocolates in 2 weeks to raise money for a large DVD player in the cab for the children to watch. Her taxi ride is now fun. But this year she has a different taxi so no more Dora.


She is 5 in July and still doesn’t walk or crawl. It is very upsetting to watch her swivel around.


She is getting very heavy to lift now which is why we are getting the new car and conversion. Also the chair that we need will be a great help to.

Abby doesn’t speak much, she only says a few words and yells. She also learns things and then forgets them.

She is a happy little girl that makes us smile every day. And she also makes us cry. We feel helpless. Her Brother Brodie who is 15 and her sister Tahlia who is 12 adore her so much.

So that is my story about our princess Abby Rose Harrison.