Vitamin K Vital For Babies
In 2004, Darrin and Jenny Wade chose a home water birth delivery for their son, Austin. They had done the same delivery with one of their two daughters and hadn't had any serious problems with the procedure.
"When I got pregnant with Austin, it was just a natural. We did it once, and it was great, so we decided to do it again," Jenny said. But unlike a hospital birth, the Wade family's home birth did not come with a Vitamin K shot for Austin. The shot is given to babies in the hospital to help the blood clot.
The Wades didn't even know the shot existed. For the first few weeks, Austin was happy and healthy, but soon the Wades started to become worried. A small cut on Austin's finger wouldn't stop bleeding for a couple of days, and his mother and grandfather noticed a large bruise on his side. Doctors said they couldn't see anything wrong.
About a week later, he wouldn't stop crying. Doctors assumed it was the flu or a virus, and he was sent home after a trip to urgent care.
"Shortly after that, Austin just kind of went blank. His eyes kind of glazed over, and his body started quivering. They kind of realized at that point that there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Austin," Darrin said.
Austin had a brain bleed and had to have emergency surgery; doctors said he had less than a one percent chance for survival. To undergo surgery, Austin's blood needed to clot. It was too late for a Vitamin K shot, so the Wades opted to try an experimental clotting drug. Austin came through the surgery and went home two weeks later.
After extensive tests, doctors say Vitamin K deficiency is to blame for the more than fifty percent of his brain that is now damaged. He takes three medications to control daily seizures, eats only natural and organic foods, and is visited by a therapist several times a week. Austin has also had stem cell treatments the Wades said have helped.
"The last year has gotten a lot better," physical therapist Gerti Motavalli said. "He attends better to what's going on, and he lets us know what he wants and what he doesn't want. Sometimes we do things, and he actually complains, which he wasn't doing the second year."
Austin is making progress; he can sit up with assistance, move his arms and legs, and make sounds. His brain is still unable to process what he sees. Doctors and therapists aren't sure what he'll be capable of in the future.
His mom and dad want other parents to know how important Vitamin K can be to a newborn child.
The Austin Wade Carnival Benefit will take place from 2-6 p.m. Sept. 29 at Elks Lodge #594 in Columbia. The carnival portion is free to attend. A magic show featuring illusionist Joel Myers will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. A dance will begin at 8:30 p.m.
Money raised will help the Wade family pay for some of Austin's expensive medication and therapies.