Jai and Eli’s mum Alison knows how much courage it takes to remain strong in the face of terrifying medical emergencies.
Alison and her husband have two children with complex medical conditions. Between them, 11-year-old Jai and his little brother Eli, aged 7, have had twelve high risk neurosurgeries in their young lives. And countless dashes to the hospital emergency department.
Both boys have struggled with serious medical complications since they took their first breath. Jai and Eli suffer from acquired communicating hydrocephalus, more commonly known as ‘excess fluid on the brain’. The condition is not genetic and the boys are the only known Queensland siblings who suffer from this.
To further complicate their already complex medical conditions, both have serious food allergies and malabsorption, which means they are fed daily from a tube. Jai is something of a medical mystery. While his little brother’s malabsorption is caused by a condition known as eosynophillic oesophagitis (his oesophagus was torn as a result of major food allergies), the cause of Jai’s condition is unknown.
At 11 years old, Jai is quite the little professor when it comes to his medical condition.
“Jai knows everything about it,” Alison said. “He’s an amazing kid... he really is. He knows it all and analyses everything. Jai is old enough to know what is happening and the risks he faces, which is a shame.
“He is doing well at the moment, but is already wondering how long it’s going to last, and when his next surgery will be. When the pain gets too much, he just wants to go to hospital and see a doctor.”
Fortunately, Jai and Eli haven’t been to hospital for six months now and the boys are in the expert hands of our wonderful medical teams at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“Without donations, they wouldn’t be able to invest in research to find a solution for these problems. There are so many different things that can happen to kids, and you’re just so lucky if you happen to have a child that isn’t affected,” Alison said.
You can help the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation work wonders by donating toward groundbreaking research leading to faster diagnoses, better treatments and ultimately cures. Please give as generously as you can so our researchers can give hope to children like Jai and Eli.