Former Rochester resident Diana O’Brien has thanked the community for supporting a fundraiser to help her son Banjo.ELAINE COONEY November 15, 2012 4:39am
Former Rochester resident Diana O’Brien (nee Cheatley) recently raised $20,000 for her son who is suffering from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
The money, which was raised from a trivia night at Colbinabbin hall, will go towards Therasuit Therapy and weekly therapies for two-year-old Banjo.
Banjo is lucky to be alive after being born at 24 weeks’ gestation.
While floods ravaged Rochester and Brisbane, Diane was haemorrhaging in a Townsville hospital and Banjo had to be delivered urgently.
Diana was in Cairns when she started bleeding, so the Royal Flying Doctors airlifted her to Townsville.
‘‘The first few weeks were a blur,’’ she said.
Suffering placenta praevia (when the placenta is attached to the uterine wall close or covering the cervix), Diana was under anaesthetic when Banjo, who weighed just 662g, was born.
Diana was gravely ill and had three blood transfusions, while Banjo’s life hung in the balance.
‘‘We were unsure of what the future may hold,’’ Diana said.
‘‘There was a 60 per cent chance of survival.’’
That day, Diana saw Banjo in the neonatal intensive care unit.
‘‘They tell you he is alive, but you know there is a very long road ahead,’’ she said.
Diana stayed at Ronald McDonald House in Townsville for 95 days.
‘‘It had an awesome room, our own cooking facilities and communal area,’’ she said.
‘‘I spent all my time in the hospital or sleeping.’’
While Banjo was in intensive care, he suffered three life-threatening infections and his family feared the worst.
After 40 days, he came off his ventilator but he doctors said he had a high risk of cerebral palsy due to being so premature and the lack of oxygen throughout and after his birth.
Banjo needed oxygen and a feeding tube for 130 days while in hospital.
‘‘Being born a microprem (less than 26 weeks and less than 800g), he had a high risk of acquired brain injury,’’ Diana said.
In December last year, Banjo was diagnosed with evolving spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which affects his arms and legs.
‘‘He can’t hold his bottle, toys or hold food to his mouth,’’ Diana said.
‘‘He can’t walk, crawl or sit.’’
Banjo is undergoing intense physiotherapy called the Anat Baniel method, which kick-starts the nervous system and creates a pathway from the body to the brain.
‘‘There are so many different methods, but they are all very expensive and a lot of them are based in America,’’ Diana said.
The younger the child is treated, the better the outcome, she said.
Banjo smiles and laughs and is fully aware of what is happening, but he struggles to move, according to Diana.
‘‘He is trying so hard,’’ Diana said.
When Banjo completed two sessions of Anat Baniel therapy, Diana said his muscles had relaxed.
‘‘After the first session, he fell asleep with his hands clasped,’’ she said.
‘‘That was a bit cool.
‘‘He could not move from his back to his stomach. Now he rolls from his back to his stomach randomly.’’
His head was also more controlled, she said.
The money from the fundraiser will allow Banjo to start Therasuit Therapy next year.
More than 200 people attended the trivia night, organised by Diana, her mum Barbara Cheatley, sister Narelle Robertson and friends and family who collected donations.
Diana praised business owners in Rochester, Echuca, Lockington, Kyabram, Colbinabbin and Bendigo for their generous donations, as well as Robyn and Shane Ryan for helping to set up the Colbinabbin hall for the event.
You can follow Banjo’s journey on Facebook at ‘See Banjo Run’.
To donate towards Banjo’s therapies, bank details are on the Facebook page or email Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org
When Sam Atukorala addresses his children in his mother tongue of Sinhalese, they understand him completely, but they always reply in English.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
The Shire of Campaspe is concerned as to the incomplete reporting of Port of Echuca property matters.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Scout Group hopes to raise funds for World Scout Jamboree through novel 24-hour endurance test.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.