After six nights in hospital, her c-section wound healing, Jess Buchanan was preparing to take her newborn son, Jack, home for the first time.
“I remember looking at my bub in his capsule, he looked a bit different. I said to [my husband] Angus, ‘Does he look okay to you?’
“‘Yep, let’s go,’ he replied, and I didn’t give it another thought.
“We went home.”
Sharing her story to Dad Minus One, the blog of vaccination campaigner and Light For Riley co-founder Greg Hughes, the mother recounted the final days of Jack’s cruelly short life; from the restlessness, the reluctance to take the bottle, to the the dry nappies during his second night at home.
By the third morning, the couple were racing back to the hospital. A specialist team spent five and a half hours attempting to stabilise the newborn, before he was transferred to Sydney Children’s Hospital.
"When we went into an isolated room in ICU I knew things were really bad. They hooked Jack up to every medication you could imagine. He had drips in his feet. They couldn’t regulate his body temperature," Jess wrote. "The hours that followed were harrowing. There was nothing we could do to help, just watch as the doctors and nurses did their thing."
Despite their best efforts, Jack died at 10:10am on Monday, Sep 21, 2015.
"I remember asking the ICU doctor to stop CPR," Jess wrote. "They unhooked Jack and placed him in my arms. The noise that came out of my mouth is something that is almost indescribable. It was the sound of pure pain."