A TINY dot on an ultrasound scan led to heartbreak for first-time parents from Garston, after it revealed a rare condition which means their son is fed through a tube.
Instead of picking out nursery furniture and baby clothes, Rachael Hale, 26 and partner Shane Cargill, 29, spent an uncertain nine months facing the heartbreaking prospect their unborn baby born may not survive after eagle-eyed doctors spotted a rare condition from an almost unnoticeable dot on a scan picture.
In December 2017, their son – baby Charlie James Cargill – was born with his bowel outside of his body due to a condition known as gastroschisis.
Within six hours of being born, their tiny baby boy – weighing just 4lbs 9oz – was undergoing surgery in order to restore the bowel to the correct position.
Although nobody knows what causes the condition, it is though to effect around one in every 3,000 babies born with their intestines outside their body. However, Charlie is suffering from the further complication of short bowel syndrome – with his intestines measuring just 15cm long.
This condition means his body won’t be able to properly absorb nutrients from food as it will pass through the intestine too quickly.
Many people with short bowel syndrome go on to make a full recovery, but others are left needing to eat small, high protein meals five-six times a day, and are also restricted from drinking with meals.
However the youngster defied the odds, after weeks later stunned doctors found his intestines had grown to a whopping 85cm – giving an early indication he is recovering well.
Now, over two months after his initial operation, the youngster is still being fed small amounts through a tube while doctors assess their next steps and give his bowel the chance to recover from the surgery and the promising sign of the growth.