Skye Browne was looking forward to Christmas with her newly arrived daughter.
Instead, little Tinley Beutel spent the week in hospital fighting for her life.
Tinley is one of two babies recently born at Toowoomba Hospital who have succumbed to strains of the deadly parechovirus and spent the holidays in intensive care in Brisbane.
“When she first got sick and I took her in, I thought they were going to say it was a little bit of the flu,” Browne said.
“I had no idea… I really just was shocked. My body had that much adrenaline, I just, I didn’t even cry until she was starting to get better.”
Tinely was a cesarean birth, and Browne stayed in hospital with her for the first five days. Then they were sent home.
Everything seemed fine, but on December 18 Tinley didn’t want to feed and Browne noticed she had a temperature.
So she took her to the GP.
“They didn’t even want to touch her, they said take her to the hospital, and so I did.”
Not long after they got there, Tinley became unresponsive and staff struggled to work out what was going on.
“She was the colour of a tomato,” Browne said.
Unable to stabalise her heart rate, the staff at Toowoomba Hospital decided she needed to go to Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
There, the doctors did some exploratory surgery and waited for the results of some tests to determine what was going on. Eventually, parechovirus was established as the cause.