Austin Reid meets Australian gold medal Paralympian swimmer Matthew Haanappel. Matt is a former CPEC student and is a fabulous example of the success of accessing world class intervention programs like CPEC that give kids living with CP a chance to do wonderful things with their lives.
Inspiring in the paper, starring in the Monash, Lilydale and Waverley Leader as well as page 17 of the Herald Sun.
Kimberley Reid the mother of adorable Austin Reid has written a letter of thanks to all our fundraisers which shows how very grateful our families are for their support.
Our son Austin was born on September 16th 2009. After being quite on the day of his birth and then going into labour, the hospital monitored Austin's heart rate and found he was in foetal distress. They promptly performed an emergency c-section under a general anaesthetic, when Austin was born, he was not breathing and his heart had stopped. It took 4 doctors seven and a half minutes to resuscitate him. Austin had swallowed the meconian in utero, which caused Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which is a condition in which the brain does not receive enough oxygen.
Five hours after birth, Austin was transferred to the Monash Medical Centre’s Newborn Intensive Care unit where he was stripped down and placed on a cooling bed to help reduce the injury to his brain. The following days after Austin's birth were touch and go. He was having seizures, fighting an infection and was placed on a breathing machine. We were told to expect the worst, and that they may have to consider turning off his life support. We were also told his quality of life could possibly be poor because the damage he received to his brain was so severe. After performing an MRI 5 days later, it confirmed what the doctors expected, severe brain damage, to the front, top left and right and the back of his brain. At this stage, Austin was still receiving assistance with breathing, although, he was doing most of the work, which was a positive sign, the real test came down to seeing what would happen once it was removed, one of the most scariest moments of our life, watching to see if our son could breath. Thankfully Austin was able to breathe on his own without the assistance of a machine, first hurdle jumped! The next hurdle was to know if he had a gag reflex, by the next morning after having his breathing tube removed he was already looking to suck, another hurdle jumped. After spending 11 days in intensive care, the seizures had ceased and Austin was moved to the special care nursery where he spent another 10 days before he was given the all clear to come home.
On leaving the hospital, the doctors were unable to indicate how he was going to be affected by the damage and that we would have to take it day by day. Although as frustrating as it was not knowing at the time, looking back it was the best thing they could have said. We had no expectations, so every time Austin achieves a milestone, we are absolutely ecstatic and it is an added bonus. When I say a bonus, it’s a bonus because the main thing is that we have a little boy still with us, we were able to bring him home.
Eventually Austin was diagnosed with Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, Sensory processing disorder and complex communication needs.
With thanks to the fantastic physio we were seeing through outpatients, we were linked in with the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre in Glen Waverley. Austin was lucky to receive a spot in the babies group and was able to start early intervention at the age of 7 months. Since starting at CPEC we have never looked back. The skills, knowledge and support that the team of physios, Occupational, and Speech therapists have given us over the last 3 years to help assist Austin in his everyday life has been invaluable. Austin has high muscle tone in both arms and legs and is low toned in the trunk. Due to the sensory processing disorder, Austin has trouble moving his body through space, CPEC referred Austin to second skin to receive a second skin body splint, (similar to a suit burns victims where but with plastic boning) which has helped his stability immensely. Austin has developed from commando crawling, to walking with a wooden ladder, progressing to a walking frame at the age of 21 months and this year as of about 3 months ago, has began to walk with walking sticks. Our aim is for Austin to eventually walk unaided. CPEC has given Austin a voice through the use of a communication book, he has learnt to socialise with his peers, as well as actively participate and learn. Due to this Austin has successfully integrated into mainstream day care, and will be attending mainstream kindergarten next year, with the intention of attending mainstream primary school when he is of school age. Austin will attend CPEC in the early intervention program until he reaches primary school, and from there he will then continue at CPEC with the after school group program.
Austin continues to defy the odds with his development, thanks to his determination and fighting spirit.
Our thanks for our sons progress goes to the dedicated CPEC therapy team but also to you the fundraisers. Without your fundraising support the Centre would not be able to operate. The government only covers 26% of the operating costs so without your crucial support it would mean hundreds of children around Australia would not have access to the finest programs in the world and their best chance of living an independent life as possible. So from a very grateful parent thank you. It is so nice to know that people in Australia are thinking about us and our children. Good Luck on Sunday the 14th
Little Austin Reid continues to make a splash in the Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader. Read Austin's Stories
Austin is our latest little star appearing on The Circle. Austin is our nearly two year old dynamo who is achieving lots of milestones that he was never expected to.
Austin's has overcome a very traumatic birth where it took four doctors to resuscitate him. Due to the lack of oxygen over seven and half minutes to the brain, Austin was diagnosed with severe brain damage and subsequently Cerebral Palsy.
While Austin has CP with sensory issues which make its hard for him to work out where he starts and finishes, he has managed to learn in an amazingly short time how to crawl and now to walk with a walker. Austin loves being able to get around on his own and is busy tearing around the lounge room with things that were impossible to reach now tantalisingly close.
Austin loves to dance. His favourite music is Numbat and Friends, the Wiggles and Playschool. He is currently going through a phase where he likes to create ambiance with his meals and won't eat until his favourite tunes are playing in the background.
He has just received a specially designed bike and absolutely loves it.