2 minute read  •  Patient Stories

Mater little miracle Shaun

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Three-year-old Shaun O’Neill is the apple of his parents’ eyes, which is no surprise given how close they came to losing him.

At 19 weeks gestation, Shaun’s parents Lyndon and Sharon were told their unborn son was anaemic, suffering heart failure and close to death.

“There was fluid around him, his heart was enlarged and he wasn’t moving. He was close to death,” Sharon, a theatre nurse at Mater Mothers’ Hospital, said.

The couple were referred to Mater’s Centre for Maternal Fetal Medicine where Dr Glenn Gardener decided to try the near impossible—transfusing blood directly into the baby’s tiny umbilical cord.

Over the next 22 weeks, the baby required a further four transfusions—all delivered in utero.

Those transfusions saved his life.

Lyndon and Sharon named their little boy Shaun Glenn after the doctor who saved his precious life.

Three years on, Shaun is a healthy and active little boy who loves to play with his two older brothers, dance to music and play in the sandpit.

“He can now ride a bike without training wheels and he is a whiz on the scooter,” Lyndon said. “We recently had a check-up and he was given the thumbs up.”

“Shaun is a miracle in the sense that there have not been many transfusions done on a baby with parvovirus which result in the birth of a healthy baby with no neurological issues but for some reason, he just hung on through it all.”

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