Alder Hey surgeons’ efforts to save very sick baby end in tragedy

A grieving dad described the incredible roller coaster battle to save his new baby who was an "unbelievable fighter" right up to the end.

Carl and Kerry Osborne’s son, Jaxon, astounded doctors throughout his courageous, short life when he was born eight weeks premature in Arrowe Park Hospital on July 19.

The 33-year-old dad said nothing could prepare the family for the news that Jaxon was born with a growth on his arm which was openly bleeding.

Staff at Arrowe Park managed to stabilise the tiny boy but the growth was still bleeding so the decision was made transfer him immediately to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

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Carl, from Ellesmere Port, said: “We thought he had a growth on his arm, they can sew him up and he’ll be fine.

“Then you get struck with the news that they can’t stop the bleeding and the only way to stop the bleeding is to amputate his arm.

“It’s a sinking feeling, I can’t even describe it.”

Despite doctors fearing Jaxon wouldn’t survive the journey from Arrowe Park to Alder Hey, he made it across and was able to undergo the surgery necessary to save his life.

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The incredible team at Alder Hey even managed to remove the growth and stop the bleeding while keeping their son’s arm intact.

Jaxon Osborne in Alder Hey with his mum Kerry

Sadly, the family’s joy was short lived.

Due to the stress and blood loss in his fragile body, Jaxon started to suffer organ failure and was taken to intensive care to receive dialysis and life support.

Despite being given little chance of survival, he started making incredible improvements that gave his parents and doctors a sense of confidence he could make it.

However, an devastating scan result revealed perforations to his bowel which would require two major life-saving operations in under 24 hours.

The second operation in particular took its toll, and it looked like Jaxon would not make it due to internal bleeding.

But the team at Alder Hey managed, against all the odds, to stop the bleeding yet again giving him a fighting chance.

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Carl said: “I think they honestly thought that they were going to open him up and say that’s so bad, that’s it, and it was just going to confirm for them that was the end, but they actually managed to put a stoma in and tidy up a bit of his bowel.

“That was beyond our expectations, before that we felt lost really.

“So you kind of start [hoping] again, but it was that morning we could tell there was something not right with him.

“We were home for about two hours and then we got a call saying they couldn’t stop a source of bleeding around his belly and that was pretty much for him.

“So before we left again for the hospital we told our six-year-old son, Kaelin, that Jaxon’s going to heaven.”

As the couple exited the tunnel driving to Alder Hey, they received another call from the hospital telling them surgeons had finally managed to stop the bleeding giving them hope once more.

Carl Osborne with Jaxon who fought so hard to live

Jaxon once again continued on a course of incredible recovery which even had the consultants scratching their heads.

Carl, overwhelmed at his son’s roller-coaster battle, broke down as he described a particular memory.

He said: “It was the day before my other son’s birthday, Thursday 30th July, it was my Kaelin's birthday on Friday, 31st.

“Obviously you don’t want anything to happen but I was just praying don’t go on Kaelin's birthday, please, you know?

“By the time we left on that Thursday, he was fighting again. You could see the look on the staff’s faces, they were just dumbfounded.

“Thankfully Friday was uneventful and he was improving again.”

After days of Jaxon continuing to fight, by a cruel twist of fate, he developed an infection in his already weakened body.

Carl said: “After everything he went through, it was a little infection that did it.

“He just couldn’t take it.”

“He was a little thing, a precious thing.”

If you have been affected by any of the details mentioned in this story there are people who can help you.

Most people grieve when they lose something or someone important to them.

The way grief affects you depends on lots of things, including what kind of loss you have suffered, your upbringing, your beliefs or religion, your age, your relationships, and your physical and mental health.

Grieving is a totally normal process but there are way to get help if you need support.

Your GP is a good place to start. They can give you advice about other support services, refer you to a counsellor, or prescribe medication if needed.

Or you can contact support organisations directly, such as Cruse Bereavement Care (0808 808 1677) Samaritans (116 123) or Love Jasmine.

On August 7, 19 days after he came into the world under the cruellest of circumstances, Jaxon died in the arms of his parents in Alder Hey’s bereavement suite.

The family have set up a Gofundme page in memory of their son, with donations going to the PICU unit and bereavement suites at Alder Hey who gave their son a fighting chance and allowed them to grieve once his fight was over.

You can make a donation to the Jaxon Osborne Alder Hey memorial fund by clicking here.

In a final tribute to his brave boy’s fight, Carl posted on the memorial page: “I am so proud of my son in how he fought so hard in the 19 days he was here despite being so small and fragile and despite having more thrown at him than anyone would ever expect in 90 years of life, let alone 19 days.

Adding: “RIP my beautiful baby boy Jaxon Harry Osborne, we are so proud of you.

“We miss you so so much and love you absolutely millions, forever and always xxx”.

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