Mother’s urgent warning to all parents after her newborn baby Pixie was struck down by the common cold and almost died
A mother who saved her newborn baby’s life by rushing her to hospital is urging parents to ‘trust their gut’ if they think something is wrong.
Jenna Doecke, who lives in rural Victoria six hours from Melbourne, took tiny Pixie into Mildura Base Hospital at two weeks old after she developed a common cold that quickly became life-threatening.
Within hours the baby’s lungs collapsed and she developed heart failure, leading to an exhausting rollercoaster of 24-hour bedside vigils, emergency treatments and gradual improvement.
At five weeks her baby is still not out of the woods, but she can finally breathe on her own, giving Ms Doecke a chance to reflect.
She wants other mothers to know it’s never an overreaction to take a sick baby into hospital.
‘[Pixie’s nurse] said to always trust a mother’s instinct and we absolutely did the right thing at the right time bringing her to the hospital,’ Ms Doecke said on social media.
Jenna Doecke wants other mothers to know it’s never an overreaction to take a sick baby into hospital. Pictured: Ms Doecke with baby Pixie
When Pixie’s lungs began to collapse, the newborn was placed on a breathing tube and was being kept alive by machines as her heart failed
‘[I was told] my mum instinct saved her life … had I waited ’til the next morning we’d probably be telling a different story right now.
‘Never in a million years thought a common cold could almost kill a baby.’
When Pixie, Ms Doecke’s sixth baby, went from breathing heavily to becoming unsettled at two weeks old – and staying that way – her mother’s instincts kicked in.
Hours after her baby refused a bottle, became ‘grumpy’ then got worse, so she told partner Sandon Robinson it was time to get the baby to emergency care.
Within six hours of arrival Pixie was in intensive care as her body began to shut down.
She was flown to Royal Children’s Hospital by helicopter, where she was diagnosed with rhinovirus, a virus that caused the common cold.
But there was far worse news too.
With her immune system weakened, Pixie developed a respiratory infection and myocarditis, an inflamed heart.
When her lungs began to collapse, the newborn was placed on a breathing tube and was being kept alive by machines as her heart failed.
After rallying, the baby’s condition dramatically worsened and doctors began discussing CPR and surgery to save the baby’s life.
Ms Doecke was expecting to be told Pixie ‘didn’t make it’.
But nearly two weeks on Pixie, whom she calls my ‘superstar’ is still fighting.
‘My god she’s a fighter.’
She’s breathing on her own, is being weaned off morphine and milrinone, an acute heart failure medication, and has finally had a bottle.
Pixie (pictured) is now breathing on her own, is being weaned off morphine and milrinone, an acute heart failure medication, and has finally had a bottle
At just over two weeks old Pixie Robinson developed had heart failure. Pictured: Pixie, from the family’s GoFundMe page
‘They weren’t wrong when they said she’d have a long journey ahead of her but she’s alive and that’s all we prayed for.
‘It still blows my mind that all she’s been through was just from a common cold.’
The family has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Pixie’s ongoing medical costs.
‘I have created this fundraising to help ease the burden for Jenna and Sandon while they are in Melbourne with Pixie, so they can have one less thing to worry about while being away from their family and unable to work,’ wrote family friend Amy Johnston.
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