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04 Dec 2014

Rare Diagnosis Rewarded

San Pathology is home to a stunning Aboriginal painting and Turramurra baby Joel Gibbs is happy and healthy thanks to the diagnosis of a rare blood condition by San Paediatrician Dr Jeff Chaitow and San Haematologist, Dr Jennifer Posen, San Pathology and the assistance of the Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service.

Newly born Joel (much loved sibling for Oscar, Lily and Mark), bruised after even light touches during breast feeding and cuddles. He was quickly diagnosed as Neonatal AlloimmuneThrombocytopenia (NAIT) which can cause severe and potentially fatal bleeding.

Mother Cath Powell’s antibodies were effectively destroying Joel’s platelets and he required urgent blood transfusions sourced from all over Australia and ongoing monitoring until his platelet levels were normal.

“Dr Chaitow, Dr Posen, San Special Care Nursery and the Red Cross were amazing” says Cath.

“For the first two days we had a beautiful healthy baby and then this… but despite the severity of the situation, thanks to them, we always felt a real sense of calm and we knew that we were in great hands. “

While in Hospital Cath entered a competition to nominate and win a ‘dream’ art work by Aboriginal artist Colin Wightman.

“My ‘dream’ painting would be of red and white dots (as in red and white blood cells) and I would donate this to the Haematology department and Dr Posen who have been so caring andcompassionate” she said.

Surprised but delighted to win Cath and her family donated the artwork to the Hospital in appreciation which will now have pride of place in San Pathology.

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