TWENTY-FOUR weeks ago Blake Gordon-Cooke was a happy and healthy baby but that has changed dramatically.
Born on February 4, last year, Blake was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
Mother Diane and father Paull were enjoying everything that came with being first-time parents. However in March their seemingly healthy son was taken into hospital, and they haven’t returned to their Wedderburn home since.
Diane said what she thought was just a common cold turned out to be something more.
“On March 9 this year we brought him into the emergency department with a chest cough and we haven’t been home since,” she said.
Diane said Blake hadn’t been taken off the oxygen machine.
“He seemed to have bronchiolitis which is a common thing but for some reason we couldn’t get him off the oxygen when he was feeling better,” she said.
Diane said on March 29 her son was transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital, and spent 45 days in the intensive care unit.
“He got worse, he picked up a second virus and everything was a little odd, nothing was adding up,” she said.
“During his time in ICU we found that he had two holes in his heart, secondary pulmonary hypertension and a mystery lung disease that is still undiagnosed.”
Diane said her little guy had undergone several tests including a lung biopsy and an angiogram to help determine what he had.
“It is called an interstitial lung disease; he has a surfactant deficiency in his lungs,” she said.
“His lungs can’t do what they are meant to do, but the actual diagnoses is something they haven’t been able to establish.”
Diane said the disease Blake has is close to something called ABAC3, a disease so rare it only affects one in four million people.
Diane said her son was not getting much better and was permanently on high-flow oxygen.
“We are hoping to get Blake home, he is currently on antibiotics because he has a bug but we might be here for months,” she said.
Throughout Blake’s time in hospital the Gordon-Cooke family has been updating a Facebook page called Blake’s Million Smiles to help update friends and family about Blake’s condition.
She said a lot of people began donating toys to help put a smile on Blake’s face.
“People saw Blake and started to donate toys and we sort of said that Blake could only have so many but told people the hospital needed toys,” Diane said.
“All the toys that have been donated will go into the children’s ward at Bendigo Health.
“Most of the children can’t go into the toy room because of their conditions so we are taking the toys to the kids.”
Diane said she was amazed at how the community had rallied behind her son.
“The hospital gets these big donations but they go to buying equipment rather than the bits and pieces, the things that make kids smile,” she said.
“It has been incredible.”
For more information about how you can donate visit www.facebook.com/BlakesMillionSmiles