Letters to the editor August 29, 2018

Fight to survive: Oliver Carter at Campbelltown Hospital.

Fight to survive: Oliver Carter at Campbelltown Hospital.

I am writing this letter to share with you a recent experience involving our son Oliver at Campbelltown Hospital in the hope that those who treated him during his visit receive the praise and recognition they deserve.   

Oliver was born six weeks premature on 9 June 2018 at Liverpool public hospital. A few hours later he was moved to the nearby private hospital's Special Care Nurse for routine monitoring and to ensure he was feeding well and gaining weight. Within two weeks we brought our precious baby boy home.

Oliver was soon into a routine of feeding and sleeping. However, the long days and nights back and forth to the hospital visiting Oliver and looking after our two-year-old girl Sienna caught up with us and we soon showed signs of a minor viral infection. Despite our best efforts to isolate Oliver from our sickness he began displaying similar symptoms. 

On the Monday Oliver was suffering from a heavily blocked nose and by the Wednesday he had developed a cough. Our GP advised us that Oliver had indeed caught our same viral infection and unfortunately little could be done to treat it. Our GP advised that we should closely monitor Oliver and if his condition worsened to take him immediately to hospital. 

During the early hours of the next morning Oliver’s appetite had decreased and he was lethargic. A short time later we noticed his breathing had shallowed, even appearing to stop altogether for brief periods. Following our GP’s instructions we took Oliver to Campbelltown’s Emergency department.

Upon arrival at Campbelltown Hospital, the triage nurses immediately admitted Oliver, delivering him into the care of the hospital’s Emergency Resuscitation department. 

Director of Emergency Dr Richard Cracknell and his team began working on Oliver’s now lifeless little body.  Initial observations revealed that he had begun ‘head bobbing’ indicating severe signs of respiratory distress and that his temperature was at hypothermic levels risking organ failure. Oliver was literally fighting for survival.

With his conditioning worsening, Oliver begun to suffer Bradycardias, requiring stimulation of his heart to maintain heart rate and Apneas, where his breathing would stop for 5-10 seconds at a time. Being born premature, less than six weeks of age and a recent diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease amplified the seriousness of Oliver’s condition. As Oliver’s parents, we were terrified of what might happen to him.

As the moments passed Dr Richard Cracknell and his team were joined by Dr Simone Trist, of the paediatrics ward and Dr Angela Tan, a specialist paediatrician. It was soon determined that Oliver was suffering from a very severe case of Bronchiolitis. Nurse Kristen Williamson from the hospital’s Special Care Nursery helped to stabilise his condition then placed Oliver on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine.   

Once stabilised we were informed that due to Oliver’s severe condition, he needed to be tranferred to the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick. Transport was organised and Anne, a paediatric nurse, monitored and cared for Oliver for the next five hours, never leaving his side until he was transferred.  

Oliver was transported by the Newborn and paediatric Emergency Transport Service (NETS) iadmitted into the paediatric intensive care unit at the Sydney Children’s Hospital where he spent only two days after making a miraculous recovery. 

Now back at home Oliver spends his days, feeding, sleeping and smiling at us.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who looked after Oliver at Campbelltown Hospital. If it wasn’t for the doctors and nurses who worked so quickly when treating Oliver, the outcome could have been very different and our time in intensive care a lot longer.

The absolute composure, level of skill and professionalism displayed by Dr Richard Cracknell and his team and all of the other doctors and nursing staff during those frantic early moments were inspiring and reassuring for us both. We are only one story of hundreds each year that go unrecognised. We just wanted to shine a light on the tremendous works these people do every day and to say thank you for saving our precious little boy Oliver. 

Alexander and Cerys Carter, Raby

Bring picnic instead

Burragorang lookout is part of the greater Blue Mountains and Nattai National Park.

Food vendors and disposable coffee cups are the last thing visitors want when enjoying the beauty and tranquility of nature. 

How about opening up the walking tracks down to the dam so that people participate in non- commercial, healthy activity?

Leave the vendors in Camden; Let people bring their picnic baskets and enjoy the peace and quiet.

Kathryn Martin, Elderslie

Disillusioned voter

Open letter to Hume MP Angus Taylor.

Words cannot describe my regret in voting for you in the 2016 Federal Election. Nor can they describe the utter disappointment I am currently feeling.

Your actions and the actions taken by a small group of slighted and aggrieved politicians have forced my hand. I will be voting for the insipid and uninspiring Bill Shorten next election, something I never wanted to do. But I won’t support this new government, nor do I believe you deserve another term in power.

The actions taken this week, while Turnbull remained far more popular than Shorten, are reminiscent of bitchy, teenage girls out for revenge at all costs. Is that what Australian politics has come to? Is that the legacy you wish to leave?

Emily (surname withheld), Camden

​Time to debate immigration

The events over the past couple of weeks in our political capital, Canberra, have been extraordinary to say the least. We’ve had outrageous Senate speeches and more leadership instability. 

While there’s not much I can do about that I’m at a point where I will back any party or independent that is prepared to have a sensible discussion on Australia’s population and current levels of immigration. At present, we either have the extreme left that wants exponential population growth or the extreme right that reminisces about the White Australia Policy. I want to see this debate had without any reference to race whatsoever.

Ideally, if the population argument could focus on inadequate infrastructure, our beautiful bushland being logged to make away for ever more urban sprawl and exponential population growth than I would be satisfied. For those not interested in the maths of exponential population growth and how it impacts Australia, then just consider the following. 

Australia has reached 25 million people, 33 years ahead of official predictions. I suspect that’s occurred because those tasked with tracking population trends have done so with the view that population growth is linear, rather than exponential. A huge difference that Australia is fast waking up to.

Robert Wrona, Campbelltown

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