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Baby Piper—a little fighter

Mater Mother’s Hospital’s Neonatal Critical Care Unit (NCCU) is unfortunately a familiar place for mum Amy Breitkreutz and her husband who have had four of their six children receive life-saving treatment in the unit.

During her most recent pregnancy, Amy’s water broke at 23 weeks while at home and she was rushed to Mater Mothers’ Hospital where she was monitored closely.

Less than a week later, Amy was induced with the concern that she had an infection.   

“The doctors were quite concerned and I needed to be induced straight away.”

Baby Piper was born at just over 24 weeks, weighing only 616 grams.

“It was different this time around as Piper was unresponsive.  We put our emotions aside and just hoped that she would get through,” she said.

“Our other children born prematurely showed movement when they were delivered, but this wasn’t the case with Piper.”

Piper was put on oxygen immediately and rushed to the NCCU and it was here she spent 117 days.

During this time Piper experienced many ups and downs.  She fought through four blood transfusions, one platelet transfusion, two lumbar punctures and a number of infections.

“We have spent a lot of time in NCCU but with each baby it’s been different, and Piper was very poorly.

“The care she received was wonderful and the nurses at Mater gave us a lot of support. It was a juggle to have our other children at home but we got through it.

“We were so thankful that after 117 days we could go home and be together as a family.”

Now weighing six kilos and having just turned one, Piper is progressing well, albeit slowly.

“Piper needs to go to a lot of medical appointments to ensure she’s meeting her milestones but we are hopeful that her health will continue to improve as she gets older,” Amy said.

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