The first 24 hours after birth should be one of the happiest moments in a new parent’s life, but for St Marys couple Shannon Wells and Jessica Hill, it was one of the scariest.
“As he was placed onto my chest it was quite evident straight away that there was something that wasn’t quite right,” Ms Hill recalled.
The hours that followed the birth of their son were filled with uncertainty and waiting, until it was discovered that at just one day of age, Khynan Wells had suffered a stroke.
“It was very hard to hear that news because I never even knew that it was possible for babies to have strokes,” Ms Hill said.
With stroke among the top 10 causes of death in children, with one third of cases occurring in children under the age of one, Ms Hill said that she hoped more awareness would be spread during this year’s National Stroke Week from September 3 to 9.
“It’s crazy how many people don’t actually know about this sort of thing,” she said.
“We’ve experienced firsthand how alone you can feel when this sort of thing happens.
“You sort of feel like no one else in the world can relate to what is going on and I think it’s definitely important families feel like they have that support around them when this sort of thing happens.”
Now eight-months-old, the road ahead for Khynan is still full of uncertainty, with potential cerebral palsy a bridge the young family might have to cross.
But despite this, Ms Hill said each day with Khynan would always be a blessing.
“It makes us even more excited and proud of him now because we know what he has been through and what he has had to overcome,” she said.
“We’re excited to see him grow and whatever obstacle comes our way, we’ll help him through it as his parents.”
Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.