A strange lump on Zeke’s neck led to a shocking diagnosis.
Here, Amy Greenwood, 26, tells the story in her own words.
￼I think the baby’s coming!’ I exclaimed to my partner Sam, 28.
After tests showed our baby boy was healthy, I’d decided on a home birth. Sam called the midwife. He was a loving stepdad to my two kids, Lailah, eight, and Logan, five, and now we were expecting our first baby together. I was soon ready in the birthing pool and Sam, my midwives Jayne and
Amanda, Sam’s mum Jewelz, 49, and Nanna Kay, 77, all gathered around as our baby entered the world. The cord was wrapped around his neck, but it was quickly removed and thankfully he was fine. ‘We’re calling him Zeke. It means “shooting star” in Arabic,’ I explained. And then Jayne spotted a lump on his neck. ‘We’d better get him to hospital to make sure it’s not serious,’ she said. Is it swollen up because of the cord? I thought as we headed to hospital. There, we were sent to a specialist children’s hospital. For six days, we camped by Zeke’s bed as he had tests.
Finally we were called to a room with five experts – and a box of tissues on the table. ‘This doesn’t look good,’ I whispered to Sam, clutching his hand. ‘Zeke has a rare cancer,’ the doctor said gently. ‘It’s called a primitive neuroectodermal tumour.’ I felt faint with shock as the doctor explained they didn’t have many guidelines about treatment. She thought Zeke’s best chance would be to have huge doses of chemotherapy immediately.
Babies who hadn’t had the chemo had often died within three months. ‘Just do what you have to do to save our son,’ I said, sounding oddly calm. But the moment we were alone, Sam and I sobbed in each other’s arms. Days later, Zeke was having surgery to put a tube in his body for the drugs. After an infection set in, he was raced to intensive care and placed in an induced coma – battling for his life. How much more can our poor boy take? I thought.
Knowing he could die any moment was torture. But incredibly, our son rallied enough to be given chemo. As weeks passed, there were serious complications and Zeke almost died four times. ‘Come on little man, you can make it,’ I whispered. Now, Zeke is turning one. He’s finished chemo, and to our relief, he’s in remission. The future for our little star is looking bright.
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