Amelia gains appetite after battle

Baby Amelia Pierce and her mum Jenny Sutherland. Amelia was born with oesophageal atresia.
Baby Amelia Pierce and her mum Jenny Sutherland. Amelia was born with oesophageal atresia. Nicola Brander

AMELIA Pierce's parents waited five months to properly admire her sweet face.

The youngster was born with oesophageal atresia, a congenital condition which means that that the oesophagus does not properly join the stomach.

Amelia needed surgery at birth to insert a feeding tube directly into her stomach.

She also needed a tube in her mouth to drain saliva so that she did not choke.

At five months, she had further surgery to join her oesophagus and stomach which meant she could do away with the mouth tube.

It also meant that her parents, Jenny Sutherland and David Pierce, had a new daughter.

"As soon as they did the surgery, they took the tubes out. We'd never seen her face without a tube in it," Ms Sutherland said.

After spending her first five months in the Mater Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Amelia came home to Buderim where she continues to thrive.

She still receives formula through the gastrostomy tube to her stomach but is starting to experiment with food, showing a liking for chocolate custard, watermelon and Weet-Bix.

Mrs Sutherland has been told that could take up to two years for Amelia to eat and drink properly but she and her husband hope that she will be ready to eat her first birthday cake in five months time.

"She's showing more interest in food and touching things to her mouth," Mrs Sutherland said.

Mrs Sutherland said oesophageal atresia could affect children in different and multiple ways.

"We were very lucky that she only needed the two surgeries and, touch wood, she won't need any more," she said.

She said Amelia might have to eat slower and drink more water but she would otherwise be no different from any other child.

"I just want people to know that if something like this gets diagnosed in their family, it's not the worst thing," she said.

"If someone says there's going to be a baby in the family with oesophageal atresia, it's not that bad. The babies will grow and they will come to be just like every body else. It's a lot of hard work for the first couple of years but then everything will be all right."


Oesophageal atresia:

  • Affects about one in 4425 babies.
  • Occurs around 3-4 weeks gestation. Cause unknown.
  • Represents the failure of the oesophagus to develop as a continuous passage.
  • Comes in multiple configurations. Often, it is accompanied by tracheo-oesphageal fistula, where there is an abnormal opening between the trachea and oesophagus.
  • First signs can be an unusual amount of amniotic fluid while the mother is still pregnant.
  • The first signs at birth can be excessive drooling, coughing, choking and sneezing because the baby cannot swallow properly.

Topics:  health surgery

Dancers wow judges at Warwick High Talent Quest

MAJOR TALENT: Warwick High talent quest winners (back from left) Jazzie S, Georga T, (front) Tysharna W and Alexis C strike a pose.

Meet the winners of the Warwick High Talent Quest

Drug dealing taxi driver walks from court

Julie Margaret Donovan pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying dangerous drugs after she took two undercover police to drug dealer's homes.

She pleaded guilty to three counts of supplying a dangerous drug.

Three car crash on Albion St, road closed

Emergency services attend a three car crash in Warwick.

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

Former Warwick State High student is second

Victorian rider and former Warwick High student Lee Kimber (right) goes for his beast at the Warwick Rodeo.

Former Warwick High student to compete in national finals

13 things to do on the Southern Downs this weekend

Darcy Meek (left) is the early leader in parkrun on Saturday before being first man home.

Photo Gerard Walsh / Warwick Daily News

Here's a list of 13 things to do this weekend.

Boot Scootin' charity event kicks out the Black Dog

COMMUNITY EFFORT: Musician Jared Porter has come on board to perform at Bubbles Barbierato's Boot Scootin' Black Dog Charity Auction on Monday night.

Boot Scootin' Black Dog Charity Auction to kick off Rodeo Week.

Bruce Springsteen finds therapy useful

Singer Bruce Springsteen

Singer encourages others to seek help

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Kerry Washington wants one more child

Kerry Washington recently gave birth to her second child

Kerry has only just become a new mum again

TRAVEL: Musicals light up Sydney

David Campbell performs in Dream Lover.

We take a trip through one of Sydney's finer scenes

Wine and dine your way around Brisbane this summer

Brisbane has the best places to wine and dine.

NINE of the best places to wine and dine.

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge