Eight month old George Jones has been receiving ongoing care from the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton since birth.
Born with Down's Syndrome, George was also diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease and underwent vital surgery at a very early age. His dad Philip, has kindly shared his story with us...
"Our beautiful second son George was born last November (2015) with significant health challenges. Two days after he was born, we found ourselves in the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital (the Alex) with a very poorly baby and the weight of the world sitting heavily on our shoulders.
George was born with Down’s Syndrome, but more immediately worrying for us – Hirschsprung’s Disease; a rare and potentially life-threatening condition that causes stools to become stuck in the bowels, which can lead to a serious bowel infection called enterocolitis if it's not identified and treated early on. Surgery would be required.
George spent his first month in a hospital bed in Brighton which was a stressful situation for my wife and I. He needed stabilising before he could undergo an operation, but was well enough that we were able to take him home for Christmas and spend time as a family with his three-year-old brother Ben.
In February this year (2016), George was operated on. He spent ten hours in theatre - the longest ten hours of our life. In laymen's terms, the non-working part of his intestine was removed and then the good parts were joined together. 48 hours later, he filled a nappy - the surgery had been successful. After three months of no dirty nappies and his mother and I giving George an enema three times a day, we had never been so happy to see a dirty nappy!
George is now eight months old and doing well. We are so grateful to the entire medical team at the Alex for taking such good care of George and us during our stay last year. We are back for regular check-ups and it's always a joy to see the fantastic staff we’d got to know so well as a family. I now write a regular blog to track George's progress and am thrilled to regularly hear from the nurses who cared for him. I can never thank them enough."
You too can follow how he's doing at www.georgejonessite.com