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Toddler has PTSD after nearly losing his life three times
A little boy has beaten the odds and stunned doctors by beating three deadly illnesses, which left him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the age of just three.
PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA
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A little boy has beaten the odds and stunned doctors by beating three deadly illnesses, which left him suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at the age of just three.

Theo Bartlett, from Cardiff in England, has spent eight months in hospital battling a heart condition, bleeding on his spleen and sepsis.

Doctors had even told the tot’s parents, Becky Deeley (22) and Lawrence Bartlett, to prepare for the worst.

“Theo was a fighter before he was even born,” Becky says. “Having to hear doctors tell you on three occasions that we should prepare for the worst was heartbreaking, but we’d heard it so many times that we believed he’d pull through.”

Despite his ordeal Theo is now a happy and healthy little boy. However the trauma of having had to fight for his life took its toll and he was diagnosed with PTSD in November.

The toddler still suffers from episodes of cold sweats and sleepless nights.

Congenital heart condition

His parents were told to terminate the pregnancy at 20 weeks after doctors discovered Theo would be born with a congenital heart condition.

“Doctors told me the outcome was bleak, but after seeing my baby on the screen and feeling him kick inside my tummy there was no way I could terminate,” Becky says.

The couple decided to have the baby, hoping their little boy would pull through. At 37 weeks the couple were sent to Bristol Royal Infirmary where Theo was born via C-section.

“We got to hold him for a few seconds before he was taken away and doctors told us he might only live for a couple of hours.

“We were told to call our family to come to the hospital so we could all be there when it was time to say goodbye.”

Miraculously, Theo pulled through – but only after he’d had three open-heart operations and spent six months in hospital.

A split spleen and internal bleeding

But the parents’ joy was short-lived. The boy fell ill for a second time when his spleen split as a result of drugs intended to stop blood in his heart from clotting.

This nearly caused Theo to bleed to death internally, but surgeons were able to save his life and he was finally able to go home in January 2016.

“We were told to say our goodbyes again as he was rushed into surgery,” Becky says. “The doctors and nurses really helped to get us through.”

Theo’s parents thought they’d been through the worst – but then they boy was struck down for a third time. In September 2016 he contracted sepsis.

Septic shock

“About mid-morning he began screaming and crying and it was as if someone had flicked a switch,” Becky recalls. “His eyes were glazed over and he started vomiting blood, but what was strange was that he was freezing cold to touch.

“We rushed him straight to hospital and they told us he had septic shock and injected fluids straight into his bone.”

The life-threatening illness caused the tot’s body to swell so severely doctors struggled for 12 hours to get a fluid line into his neck. The boy’s feet turned black and his big toe had to be amputated before he could be placed on a dialysis machine.

“Again we were told to prepare for the worst,” Becky recalls. “He was placed in intensive care with pancreatitis, a perforated bowel and abdominal sepsis.

“We were told to make plans for his funeral but we knew how strong our boy was and that he’d give us a sign if he was in pain.”

Theo once again proved his doctors wrong. He had to undergo surgery to drain the infection from his stomach and a week later he was in a stable condition in hospital.

A life after near-death

Now, with the help of doctors and psychiatrists, little Theo is slowly recovering and learning to walk with his missing toe. He’s also taking part in play- and speech-therapy sessions.

“Doctors told us it was very rare for a toddler his age to have PTSD but that they were seeing it more often with children who’d spent long periods in hospital,” Becky says.

“He was prescribed melatonin to help with his episodes, every couple of months or so, and it helps settle him again.

“He’s such an independent, energetic little boy and he’s been through so much. After suffering from sepsis the tendons in his ankle became tight and he’s now waiting to have those cut so he can start walking properly.

“He’s been through so much in such as short space of time but he’s come on leaps and bounds. We’re hoping he’ll start nursery school in September.”

Source: Magazine Features 

Pictures: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA

                

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