Hello everyone!

Exciting news! I am now at the aforementioned longitude and latitude coordinates which are at Morningside Medi-Clinic. Yes, that’s right, I’m back in Jo’burg. My Dad decided to take a GPS reading out the window above my crib – heavens only knows why!

Last night was still spent at Unitas (S25°49’56.00″ & E28°11’41.87″ if you’re really interested). I had a restful night, as my respiration is so much better with the additional pedicles closed off in my AVM. During the night the sheath lodged in my left femoral artery was removed. It is through this artery, at the groin, that access was gained to my arterial system and again catheters were navigated through my body to my head through which the sterile superglue was discharged. The reason for delaying the removal of sheath was that heparin was used during my procedure, which is an anticoagulant, as my blood must not clot during the administration of the sterile superglue via the catheters. Therefore, on a regular basis throughout yesterday afternoon and last night small amounts of blood were drawn and tested for the Activated Clotting Time (ACT). This has to be in a range between 150 to 180 seconds. During the latter part of the afternoon yesterday it was still flirting with 260 seconds. If the ACT is too high, then I would bleed too much, which is incredibly dangerous, especially from a large artery such as the femoral artery.

The rest of the night was a relaxing one, and I awoke this morning to find Mom and Dad in my ward, and lots of excitement about my being transferred back to my originating hospital, namely Morningside Medi-Clinic. The paramedics arrived just before 10:00am. It took quite a while to settle me in the gurney initially, and to make matters worse one of the monitors were playing up. A number of variations were tried and soon the matter of the defective sensor was resolved. We departed from Unitas just before eleven, and hit the N1 south toward Johannesburg. The journey was uneventful and I slept for most of the journey.

Unfortunately, with about 10 minutes of journey time left, at the intersection of Grayston & Rivonia Drive, I gagged on my ventilation tube and seconds latter I was throwing up. The paramedics, without hesitation, were galvanised into action and tried to clear my throat with suctioning. I was really uncomfortable, and I was struggling to breath. Five minutes from the hospital now and I’m still gagging and struggling to breath. An air of panic spread about the ambulance as the ventilation tube started dislodging from my mouth. Expert hands lifted me on my side, and firmly reinserted the offending tube. My stats were erratic, and all around the foam cushioned steel confine of the ambulance the sound of my monitor’s wailing could be heard. Next moment I felt the ambulance come to a halt at the Emergency Entrance. Hurriedly my gurney was ejected from the ambulance, and wheeled into the resuscitation ward where the triage doctor and the paramedic suctioned more gunk from my throat and mouth. Immediately Dr Nicoletta Hay was contacted and the order was given to extubate me.

I felt enormous relief as the aberrant tube snaked its way rapidly out my mouth and I gasped in mouthfuls of air. Soon I was stable again, and the paramedics, with Dad at the lead, navigated my gurney to the Neo-Natal ICU. I was settled in my crib in minutes, and moments later Dr Hay arrived, out of breath from running from an adjacent building, burst through the doors and started tending to me. I felt encouraged to feel familiar hands on me again as Dr Hay checked my vitals and gave me the all clear. Another few minutes and I was settled and stable, and the panic of the past few minutes was forgotten. I looked at my Mom and Dad through teary eyes, huddled together nearby out of the way of harms way, and I tried to let them know it was all ok again. Their stress levels of the past few moments peaked, especially my Dad, as he was in the ambulance and witnessed the ordeal I had to endure.

All that feels like a distant memory now, as the excitement at my progress from yesterday’s embolisation became evident to those most familiar with my condition over the past few weeks. Before long my Dad hooked up my sound system again, and things were back to relative normality. Because of the success of my recent embolisation I can also stay lucid for so much longer, as previously I would tire quickly. I therefore spent the next few hours enjoying my Mom and Dad’s company, as they chatted effortlessly to me about how much they loved me, and how grateful they were at my progress. I instinctively feel that pretty soon I will be able to go home and meet the wonderful little kitties and dogs that await me at home, and to meet all you wonderful people that are tracking my progress and continuously send me prayers and positive thoughts! It will be so wonderful to be home, even for just a little while before I undergo my next procedure, which will be in about four months’ time.

One advantage of being at Unitas yesterday was that I was in the paediatric ICU, and not the Neo-natal ICU, as per Morningside Medi-Clinic. The advantage thereof was that I was allowed visitors in addition to my parents and grandparents (the NNICU is very strict about this). Consequently, Aunty Kim and my cousin Shannon travelled all the way to Pretoria to visit me. It was a really wonderful experience, as I have not met them before; Shannon cried with joy as she tickled my blonde hair and played with my little toes. Aunty Kimmy was also pretty taken by our meeting, and gave me lots of kisses.

Well, that’s about all for this afternoon. Thank you again for all the wonderful, inspiring and meaningful messages you constantly send my Mom and Dad. Every time they visit me they spend the first part of their visit reciting your messages to me, and we all have a good ole cry at the vast amount of love and caring that’s out there.

Lots of love,


Figure 1 Awaiting the ambulance at Unitas

Figure 2 Some hectic attachments

Figure 3 Getting ready for the move

Figure 4 Settling me in

Figure 5 Snug in the ambulance

Figure 6 Surrounded by equipment and kit in the ambulance

Figure 7 Fortunately traffic wasn’t too heavy down the N1S

Figure 8 On the outskirts of Jo’burg

Figure 9 I’ve heard about Durban – there’s beach there (The Spanish say it best: Vamos a la playa!)

Figure 10 Mommy kisses back at Morningside Medi-Clinic

Figure 11 Little piggies!

Figure 12 Daddy kisses!

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6 Comments on S26 05’ 40.86” E28 03’ 16.87”

  1. Gillian says:

    So glad to know you are back in JHB. You seem to like doing the exciting things don’t you.

    Rest now little Jarrod and gain your strength. So many wonderful things await you 🙂

    Love to your Mom, Dad, Opa and Oma

    Gillian, Oliver, Ryan and Kirsten

  2. Bronwyn says:

    This is really gr8 news, you have been on all our minds 24/7 over the past few days. Glad to hear that you are back in Morningside and all went well. Now you can rest, and concentrate on getting stronger, so you can go home, so that we can all come and visit you.

    Love to all
    Bronwyn, Gary, Brannon, Rhianne

  3. Inez says:

    Dear Jarrod
    My name is Inez. I live in Belize, Central America, waaay on the other side of the world, and yet with the marvels of technology, I have been able to follow your fascinating story – I read with tears my eyes, which is really silly because yours is a very happy story indeed. Medical journals will be filled with research and findings from your case for years to come. Medical practicioners will become famous, and other children born with similar conditions will have their lives saved. The good coming out of your story is virtually unending and will have life long ramifications all round. Talk about being special! You are so young and have already given so much to so many. Get well, be strong and be happy.
    With all my heart and love

  4. Lisle says:

    Jarrod, sorry to hear about your bumpy ride. You write your blog so incredibly well, that my heart was racing when I read about your tube debacle. Holy smoke, Dad must have gotten a huge fright!! Isn’t it amazing to see that you have a new friend in Inez, so far away?
    You are and example to us all
    Keep “truckin” Kid!!


  5. Jenni says:

    Cuddlebunny, Your tube debacle really stressed me out, I’m glad though that the paramedics were there to help you in a flash Now listen to me and listen good this not gaining weight is just not on, it’s very simple young man the sooner you get fatter, the sooner you’ll be able to go home… now please insist that they feed you enough and even if you have to go on a drinking binge… this time we’ll allow it. If you need assistance I’ll be sure to pop round to the hospital and give you some pointers..

    But on a more serious note..when are you going to be sending us some more news, I’m very keen to hear what you have been up to.

    Sending you lots and lots of Love

  6. lisa says:

    Wow guys – you have come such a long way. Be strong and know that we are keeping you all in our prayers. Much love Lisa and family

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