Brave Jayden is the face of Bandaged Bear Appeal

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After defying the odds several times over his life, Penrith resident Jayden Bourke couldn’t be more excited to be the face of this year’s Bandaged Bear Appeal.

Eight-year-old Jayden hasn’t had it easy in his short life so far.

When she was eight months pregnant, Theresa Bourke was told to prepare for the worst.
Jayden’s vital organs weren’t developing properly and at first look, doctors couldn’t see any brain matter.

“I found out on the same day that I found out I was pregnant that the pregnancy might not be a viable one,” Ms Bourke explained.

“He didn’t have a brain, he had no kidneys, no bladder and no bowel.

“I was told I was going to have a medical termination but after more tests, they said they found some brain matter and to prepare myself for birth.”

His official diagnosis was spina bifida and the rare medical condition hydrocephalus, meaning water on the brain, leaving him paraplegic.

Jayden has proved the doctors wrong time and time again after having at least 30 medical procedures during his life so far.

Now he has been selected as this year’s Bandaged Bear Appeal Ambassador, run by the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

“I’m just so proud of him for doing this,” Ms Bourke said.

“There was no hesitation when we were asked because they have done so much for us, so it’s great to be able to give back in this way.”

Jayden attends Werrington Public School full-time and is currently recovering from a major operation he had on his legs last October.

Ms Bourke said donating to the Appeal could help several sick children.

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