News

Family is number one

PROUD MOTHER: Kiana Alder with husband Allan Bull and their children Levi Alder,2, Jacob Alder-Bull, six-months and Mia Alder, 9.
PROUD MOTHER: Kiana Alder with husband Allan Bull and their children Levi Alder,2, Jacob Alder-Bull, six-months and Mia Alder, 9.

FORGET flowers and breakfast in bed, this Mother's Day all Kiana Alder would like is to wake up to all of her children at home.

Her six-month-old son Jacob has spent half of his life in hospital after he was born with a cleft palate and diagnosed with Pierre Robin Syndrome one week after birth.

The past six months have been tough for the Redbank Plains family, who have been in and out of the Mater Hospital as Jacob battled the serious respiratory and feeding problem symptomatic to Pierre Robin Syndrome (PRS).

Ms Alder said despite what her family had been through, she was looking forward to Sunday.

"It is going to be special mother's day for me because it will be my first with Jakey," she said.

"Since I've had Jakey, you really can't help but see the world through different eyes."

The mother of three said it was the simple things she appreciated most.

"The most I would ask for is having all my children at home. That would be unreal," she said.

"I don't want breakfast in bed, I don't want to go anywhere.

"After the last few months we've had, it's a luxury to be home all together."

For the first month and a half of Jacob's life he lived in the Natal Critical Care Unit.

Kiana and dad Allan were not allowed to stay at the hospital and described leaving him each day as heartbreaking.

"The worst part was when doctors were not sure if Jakey was going to make it," Ms Alder said.

"At seven weeks old when he had surgery, they were concerned for Jakey's heart.

"He was working too hard to breathe and they were worried his heart could just give up.

"They sedated him for a couple of days, purely for his own health.

"I remember grabbing my partners hand and walking over to Jakey.

"I said to him if you want to fight mum and dad are going to be here and we are going to fight with you.

"If you feel like you want to give up and you don't want to do this anymore, we understand.

"He's a very strong little thing, he's very determined to fight.

One of the hardest times for the Alders was when they had to starve Jacob for eight days because of a problem with his food.

"Being asked to do that to your own child is terrible," Ms Alder said.

Out of hospital, Jacob is fitted with a permanent feeding tube and a breathing tube to open his airways and stop him from swallowing his tongue.

Jacob has had four operations and mum is hoping there will not be many more.

"We're hoping this will be the last of his surgery," she said.

"Soon they will be taking out his feeding tube and putting a peg in his stomach so that we can feed him straight into his belly.

"When he is 18 months old, he will have his cleft palate repaired."

Jacob has 'severe end' cleft palate which Ms Alder described as "the size of a clinker".

"I think in 12 months time Jakey will be on the road to eating by himself," she said.

"It's just tragic now. He's so little.

"At six months old all babies want food and Jakey's the same.

"When we're eating as a family, he reaches out and wants our food.

"I can't eat around him anymore. I feel really guilty."

Despite the odds, Ms Alder said her son was a fighter.

"Even when the doctors were not sure if he was going to make it, I remember one of them saying to me, no matter what he goes through Jacob just smiles constantly."

While PRS is rare, it is becoming more common. Nearly one in 5000 babies are born with the condition in Australia each year.

"It is a very lonely and isolating syndrome for parents," Ms Alder said.

"When Jakey grows up and is less dependent, I have my heart set on trying to be there for other parents who are going through the same thing.

"My goal is to allow people to feel that they're not alone."

For now, Ms Alder is excited to spend the weekend at home with her family.

"To wake up and snuggle with my kids in the morning, that would be the best thing,"she said.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Men in custody after police swarm house, find missing baby

Police believe the baby girl may be with a 16-year-old and 19-year-old in a green 1995 Mazda 121 with Queensland registration 045GOS, and could be heading to Toowoomba.

The two men and baby girl could be heading to Toowoomba

Drowning victim, 2, had been playing 'hide and seek'

Police at the scene of a drowning in Helidon Spa.

Groundswell of support for toddler's grieving family

Woman, 22, has died from injuries after Underwood crash

A Police Forensic Crash Unit vehicle at the scene of a serious crash, Saturday, December 06, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

Two-vehicle crash occurred at Kingston and Compton rds

Latest deals and offers

Two Ipswich women charged over Adelaide murder

A TEEN from Redbank Plains will face court on Monday charged with the murder of her grandfather.

Men in custody after police swarm house, find missing baby

Police believe the baby girl may be with a 16-year-old and 19-year-old in a green 1995 Mazda 121 with Queensland registration 045GOS, and could be heading to Toowoomba.

The two men and baby girl could be heading to Toowoomba

Drowning victim, 2, had been playing 'hide and seek'

Police at the scene of a drowning in Helidon Spa.

Groundswell of support for toddler's grieving family

Woman, 22, has died from injuries after Underwood crash

A Police Forensic Crash Unit vehicle at the scene of a serious crash, Saturday, December 06, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

Two-vehicle crash occurred at Kingston and Compton rds

Where the sinkhole water came from

The Basin Pocket sinkhole was drained into  gully.

The lab results are in

Court hears evidence of drug deal that led to stabbing

CRIME SCENE: Forensic police officers investigate a fatal stabbing on Cobalt St in Carole Park.

Witness tells court stabbing victim wanted drug money to pay rent

Die-hard fan's 34 magic Gympie Muster years

STICK AROUND FOR A BEER: Mal Williams has been at every Gympie Muster for 34 years.

Mal Williams has only missed one Muster in 35 years - the first one

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa