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Louis 1 day old
Louis 1 day old

Louis was born on the 14th February 1997, two months premature, at the Royal Alexander Hospital, Brighton. Not only was he born with a huge Gastroschisis, but he also had to contend with all the problems that a premature birth bring. Louis underwent numerous surgeries in the first two weeks of his life. Unfortunately he just wasn't big enough to keep his "gut" contained and after a couple of weeks, Louis's abdomen burst open.

An infection caused the loss of his abdominal skin and a gortex patch was stitched to his abdomen. Unfortunately , this too was unsuccessful so the patch was removed and Louis was left to grow new skin over his gut. Louis had no use of stomach muscles at this stage. These muscles were gradually "reinstated" in surgeries over a period of two years.

Long term use of TPN caused Louis's liver to fail and he also developed a fistula. He was in Hospital for the first five months of his life and "in and out" weekly until he was about a year old. Further surgeries followed until he was two, when he had his final surgery to correct the muscles in his stomach. This proved to be very successful.

Louis with gortex patch
Louis with gortex patch
Louis growing new skin
Louis growing new skin

Louis is now four and a half years old and has just started school. The only difference between Louis and his friends is that he has a lot of scars on his belly, but apart from that, Louis is a happy and healthy boy. He has gained his bronze, silver and gold British Gymnastics Funfit Rewards for action balance an coordination, which proves - it can be done.

We are so proud of Louis and cannot thank the Royal Alexander Hospital, GEEPS and all our family and friends for the support that they have given us. The photographs of these brave children can be quite horrific to look at, but I think it is very important that they be shown not only for expectant families to be aware of what they might be faced with once their child is born, but also to let it be known that these babies have exceptional "wills" to live and the majority of them grow to be very normal healthy children.