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Brave Finn heads back to hospital - our thoughts are with this family today.

The delightful 21-month old Finn Smith

There is a family in Queensland with whom our thoughts are with today.

A mother facing her greatest fear – and a little boy who has gone through hell bravely headed back to fight again.

Our prayers are with this family – with Mum Sarah and Dad Jason.

And we hold our collective breaths waiting to hear of 21-month -old Finn Smith’s bravery when he wakes up from surgery.

Today is the day Finn starts the next part of his journey – eight months after contracting the deadly meningococcal virus.

Today Finn heads back to hospital for vital surgery and his mother and father go through, again, what most of us could not even imagine.

Last November life changed dramatically for the Sunshine Coast family.

Little Finn had been fighting what they thought was a viral infection and they had spent a sleepless night at home. An on-call doctor had made a home visit in the middle of the night and had diagnosed the little guy with a virus, mum Sarah instructed to get antibiotics in the morning.

The next day as they were driving towards Brisbane they noticed the devastating telltale signs of meningococcal – their 13-month-old baby had three red spots across his forehead.

Finn in hospital last year

They made a desperate drive to the hospital where the emergency department confirmed the worst. Within hours he was fighting a life and death battle.

The Daily Mail reports that Finn was “crying tears of blood, blood was coming out of his mouth and his body had puffed up.”

Sarah told The Daily Mail “you don’t know until the spots come out and once the rash comes out the damage is done – your little boy is fighting for his life.”

Sarah, Jason and Finn survived the darkest days – Finn was in a coma for two weeks– but the septicemia that accompanies meningococcal meant he had to have amputations. Multiple amputations.

It’s difficult to even begin to imagine how Sarah and Jason survived hearing that.

It’s a tribute to them that they did.

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13-month-old Finn had his left leg amputated below the knee on Christmas Eve. He then had his right arm amputated through his wrist and his right leg amputated through his ankle.

Sarah told The Daily Mail that he spent 10 weeks in hospital recovering.

Now, eight months later, it is time for Finn to return to hospital to begin the first steps towards getting some movement back in his hand – and then he will soon get his prosthetic legs.

The Sunshine Coast Daily reports that today Finn is having his hand operated on to ease some of the scars which formed when he had his index finger and partial parts of his middle, ring and pinky amputated.

He will also have a skin graft on his hand.

Sarah and Finn

The aim is to give him the ability to move his hand more and pick up things properly.

His Mum Sarah wrote on their Facebook page they face 12 months of “scar management, splints and gloves to insure the scares don’t contract the fingers. This is all to allow the skin on his hand to grow with him and so he can have full function of his hand for the future.”

For Sarah today is bittersweet.

She told The Daily Mail that she dreads returning to the hospital.  “I’m not looking forward to it, we’ve been home since February and he’s sort of been getting around and doing his thing”

“Going back to hospital and the theatre, it’s hard to have to do it to him but it’s something obviously we have to do. ”

We’ll just work through it one day at a time.”

After his surgery Finn will then look ahead to the next exciting phase – when in three weeks he gets his prosthetic legs.

“These new ones are actually going to have feet and we are going to get him a walking frame so he can stand up and walk around.” Sarah said.

Finn we send you our bravest thoughts little man

We look forward to hearing about this brave little boy’s first steps.

You can follow Finn’s journey and send the family messages of support at their Facebook page here.

Vaccinations

Sarah has pleaded with parents to have their children vaccinated against meningococcal.

She told the Sunshine Coast Daily that “those who can” should go and get the vaccine.

“It is something not worth going through, what we went through, and even worse with the possibility of losing your child,” she said. “It is just too quick. By the time the rash appears the damage is done. But it is also the only time you really know what’s going on.” “Don’t wait for the rash,” she warned.

  • The Australian Medical Association currently recommends that infants aged less than six months receive three primary doses of 4CMenB, plus a booster dose at twelve months old.
  • Fewer doses are required for older age groups.
  • For more information on Meningococcal, see the Meningococcal Australia website here.

Remember: Every hour counts, if you suspect meningococcal disease go straight to your GP or hospital.

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