On 11 March, 2012 our lives changed forever. Our beautiful 17 month-old son Jago slipped away from the other children, all staying with us that weekend. He was missing for the briefest of time, but unfortunately decided to explore the duck pond at the bottom of the garden and fell in (one that was due to be fenced in the following week). He was found in quick time, but it seemed all too late.
A call to the emergency services brought first the police, then after twenty minutes, an ambulance. The paramedics fought for forty minutes with his lifeless body in our front hall, which was now full of uniformed and un-uniformed people, all fearing the worst, until one of the paramedics shouted “everybody be quiet! I have something…”. The next few moments were palpable, a collective holding of breath until the words “I HAVE A PULSE” rang out in the hallway.
It was not over…far from it, this was to be the beginning of a journey where the destination may never be decided. On that first night we were delivered the devastating news that he would probably not survive the night. We were told that if he did survive it could be with severe brain injury due to the lack of oxygen to his brain.
The following day he was still with us and we asked his consultant what his chances were of survival, he said that Jago had a 1% chance of survival.
In that first week, in our search for answers, we were given some targets for Jago to achieve i.e. breathing without aid, processing feeds, maintaining good o2 saturation and pulse which were given to us in terms of weeks. He achieved all of these in the first week.
3 months later, Jago was still fighting, and had been transferred to The Children’s Trust in Tadworth Court, Surrey – UK’s leading pediatric brain rehabilitation centre. He can breathe on his own and he can swallow small bits of purée food. His eyes are open and he is tracking certain lights, he can hear our voices and moves his head towards sounds. In the Consultants own words ‘he has made remarkable improvements’.
Jago is now home and after a huge battle with our local CCG Jago is now receiving the 24/7 care that he needs. He attends a wonderful special school in Northampton. Only time will tell what affect the oxygen starvation has had on his brain and how this will affect the rest of his life, but the fact that we still speak about Jago in the present tense is incredible, miraculous and testament to both the care that he has received and his own strength of spirit.