|Ethan before going into hospital|
Especially for our youngest child Ethan, his hemangioma birthmark almost killed him.
At 3 months old Ethan was diagnosed with a subglottic haemangioma, which basically means that as well as the birthmarks on his face, he had birthmarks growing in his windpipe, who'd have thought birthmarks could grow inside??!!
Ethan appeared fine when he was born, but over the first 3 months of his life, his facial birthmarks soon went from a rash like appearance to large red, sore welts which bled if touched. After admission to our local hospital for breathing problems, he was quickly transferred to the Evalina Children's Hospital in London, this is when we knew things were bad.
Within a week of being admitted to the Evalina, Ethan was moved to the High Dependency Ward (HDW), the next step before ICU. The day after being moved to HDW, Ethan went into surgery for the first time.
This was quiet possibly the worst day of my life, seeing my little baby dressed in a hospital gown (I never realised they made them so small) and having to sign the paper work that allows the surgeons to operate, but also acknowledged that Ethan may not wake up from surgery was almost to much. I wanted to pick up my baby and run from the hospital as fast as I could and protect him from what was to follow, but I knew he had to go to surgery, so with Spencer at my side, I held Ethan's hand as he was put under the anaesthetic and said goodbye, fully expecting never to see him again.
|Ethan after his first surgery|
The doctors explained Ethan may need a tracheostomy to help him breathe, (this is actually quite common treatment for children with Ethan's type of birthmark, and sound much scarier than it actually is) which was for now been done by a ventilator, as he was unable to breath on his own, other things were said, but at the time shock took over and most things went over our heads.
Before this gets too upsetting, I should just say that Ethan is now a 21 month old toddler, he is loud and naughty, funny and cute, adorable and smart. Although he still has birthmarks and scares me every time he has a cold, he is without a doubt an amazing child!
|Ethan's on the mend, his first real smile was hospital!!|
So far everything seems ok, we still get scared when he has a cold, or doesn't seem quiet himself. His birthmark flares up at times, this worries us most, we can see the external birthmark but not the internal one, although logic tells us its ok, nothing totally eradicates the fear of what could happen.
If you have a child with a birthmark which is causing you concern, ask your health professional for advice, whilst Ethan's case is rare, it does happen and I'm sure you would rather be safe than sorry.
If you don't have a child with a facial birthmark like Ethan, but see kids that do, please don't stare, point, tell the parents to get the child laser surgery or make nasty comments. Whilst the child maybe to young to understand, the parents wont be, and trust me, we have enough to be dealing with without insensitive comments, which maybe innocent on your behalf, but to us can be 10th time today someone has said something about our precious baby. Personally, I don't mind people asking questions about Ethan's birthmark, we may have been through hell and back, but if we are able to help anyone else through their experiences of hemangioma (strawberry birthmarks) than that can only be a good thing.
|Ethan and Ahren, both doing well!|