OUR SUPERMAN: Lavina and Richard Mook with their son Kai who was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal. INSET: Kai as a baby
OUR SUPERMAN: Lavina and Richard Mook with their son Kai who was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal. INSET: Kai as a baby Allan Reinikka ROK070217akai4

WATCH: How Kai battled the odds to reach his 2nd birthday

WHEN Kai Mook turns two this Friday, his birthday party will be a celebration of his survival in the face of tremendous adversity.

When Kai was in utero, his parents, Rockhampton residents Lavina and Richard, discovered there was something wrong with his heart.

 

After he was born, the doctors confirmed he suffered from a rare heart condition called truncus arteriosus, where a single blood vessel comes out of the right and left ventricles instead of the normal two vessels.

"When he was 13 days old, he got really sick and we nearly lost him," Kai's mother Lavina said.

 

Kai Mook was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal.
Kai Mook was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal. Contributed ROK070217akai3

She said he had too much oxygenated blood going to his lungs so they conducted life-saving surgery in Brisbane to put a stent and valve in.

Kai went under the knife again at seven months old to do a full correction on his heart to put in a bigger valve that will hopefully last until he's in double figures, Lavina said.

"He had a couple of holes (in his heart). He had a leaking one, they fixed all that - it was a 13-hour surgery. We're very happy with how it all went.

"We should have been home by the time he was eight months old but other complications kept us down there for 11 months."

 

Kai was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal.
Kai was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal. Allan Reinikka ROK070217akai1

Kai's father Richard, 38, said Kai suffered from unexpected complications after the surgery.

"His three layers of skin started separating and they didn't know what to do about it," he said.

"His skin looked like he had been put into a fire, there's a lot of scarring from it and he lost all his hair and fingernails."

The doctors eventually narrowed it down to an extremely rare reaction to the blood thinner they used for the surgery.

Being down in Brisbane without an income was a heavy financial burden for the family, with Centrelink unable to provide financial assistance for the first four months of their ordeal.

 

Kai Mook was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal.
Kai Mook was diagnosed with Truncus arteriosus at 22 weeks prenatal. Allan Reinikka ROK070217akai2

The Mook family is extremely grateful for the invaluable support they have received from their families and the accommodation provided by HeartKids.

Not to mention the expert care from the medical professionals co-ordinated by the Primary Health Network, and the fundraising efforts of the community.



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