Toddler Josh fights back from major health scare
TWO-YEAR-OLD Normanton toddler Joshua Christie-Johnston had just celebrated his second birthday when the typically high-energy tot became unwell.
A visit to the GP saw Joshua diagnosed with pneumonia. He had an overnight stay in Normanton Hospital before being transferred to Mount Isa Hospital for more specialised care.
"We spent a week in Mount Isa where the doctors gave him antibiotics, however, he kept getting worse," Joshua's mother, Heather said.
"When we first went to the hospital, I was full of hope. I thought, 'he's in hospital, he'll get better' and when he just wasn't improving with no answers as to why I started to really worry.
"We had people from Perth, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Normanton all praying for him."
Clinicians found that Joshua had empyema, or fluid on his lungs, which needed to be drained as soon as possible, so he was transferred to the Townsville University Hospital's paediatric intensive care unit.
"This was all happening right in the peak of the pandemic, so everyone was extra cautious," Heather said.
"Because he was hooked up to breathing machines, a retrieval team from Townsville needed to first fly to Mount Isa to operate the breathing equipment during the transfer.
"We left Mount Isa at midnight and by 7am that morning I was meeting with surgeons to get the drain in."
Heather said later tests showed that Joshua's illness was a methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection which is resistant to many different antibiotics.
"Throughout his treatment he was on broad spectrum antibiotics which explains why he kept deteriorating," Heather said.
"Doctors said this wasn't something they would normally see, so I'm really grateful we had such a positive outcome.
"After the drain was out and he had the right antibiotics he picked up so quickly. When we were transferred from PICU to the children's ward he just wanted to get up and play and his appetite was well and truly back, even asking nurses for extra sandwiches after dinner," Heather said.
Heather said Joshua, who is now two-and-a-half, was back to being a happy, healthy young boy.
"He's a little chatterbox with a very good appetite and loves tearing around on his new bike," Heather said.
"We are just so thankful to the team. It was a relief to have him in such good hands."
Originally published as Toddler Josh fights back from major health scare