Surgery On My Baby

The birth of Patrick changed my marriage life from the two of us to the three of us, a family. We were excited, happy, worried followed by all kind of emotions for our baby son.

So many things to learn, to experience. Breastfeeding, constant thoughts on our baby's well being especially when his jaundice appeared to rise during his first month. The lacking of sleep. There were moments I observed his breathing while he slept. We were amazed by every new mannerisms that Patrick displayed. We were so charmed when he first smiled to us.

I would observed how gently my husband would treat Patrick and how Patrick would looked up to him, listening to his every word.

Mummy supporting and loving baby
We were enjoying ourselves as new parents until something happened in the middle of November 2017 that changed our lives forever.

"There is something not right with his stools."

My sister in law remarked to me while I tiredly changed Patrick's diapers. Mentally I can be exhausted as new mothers would be.

We visited my sister in law's home at that time.  We brought Patrick along with us.

My sister in law repeated her words

I took a closer look at his stools on the diapers. I did notice his stools appeared to be getting pale. Unlike the first month of his birth. Originally it was darker in colour. Before my sister in law highlighted this, I have mentioned of my observations to my husband. He was of the opinion that there was still colour on Patrick's stools. That based upon his own reading, only if it turns pure white stools, then we should be more concerned. I accepted his opinion. Although once in a while, I pondered on his stools colour.

"You must get it checked out. I don't feel good about it."

Colour of acholic stools ( pale stools). It was a 
mixture of light yellow and white.
I requested her to talk to my husband on this.  After the discussion, both myself and my husband decided to go to a clinic. He was of the opinion that it may not be that serious. Until the doctor in the clinic referred our baby to the hospital, then we shall go.

When we visited the clinic, the pediatrician was of the opinion that we should get a more thorough evaluation on our baby. He recommended that we look for a doctor who specialise in gastrointestinal. By then, my sister in law had given us a list of doctors name that we can referred to for Patrick.

We were unsure of where to go. Who would be the right doctor? I decided to pray for direction on this matter. When  we relook at the name list, I was drawn to UMMC (University Malaya Medical Centre). From the list, we shortlisted two doctors. UMMC is a semi private government hospital in Malaysia. 

When we were at the hospital, one of the doctors were fully booked for that day. So, we decided on the second shortlisted doctor instead. His name is Dr Ng.

As we stepped into his clinic, a serious looking with a no nonsense face greeted us. When we approached him closer to his table, his serious demeanour was replaced with a smile. And his voice, oh his voice! A booming voice which made me cannot help myself but to think that he may have a loudspeaker on his vocal cords.

Upon our first meeting, he asked us a strange question.

"Are you looking for this doctor?"

He mentioned a name which I have forgotten now.

We said no. We specifically looked for you, doctor. He gave me a strange look. It was a month or so later that I came to discover it was because that the said day was not a day of service for him. He was actually taking over a colleague's clinic as a favour. His clinic hours were the next day.  Therefore, he was puzzled  as to why we seek for him and how did we know that he was available then.

Dr Ng stared at the stools. Check Patrick physically and pondered. He mentioned Patrick may have certain health conditions. However, it would be good to go for further checkups for certainty on what was actually afflicting my son's health that prolonged his jaundice.

It was then we heard of the words, 'Biliary atresia' - an infant liver disease. Dr Ng said that it may be of that or of some other liver disease. Or it could be Hepatitis among others. Yet it cannot be ascertained until some tests is conducted.

I remembered we did an ultrasound on his gallbladder. He needed to fast for at least three to four hours before he can do the ultrasound. It is to gauge what happened to the state of the gallbladder on his fasting.

During the examination, it was revealed that the gallbladder was not responding normally to the fasting. With that, we discussed with Dr.Ng.  He was explaining further with us on biliary atresia. (B.A.)

Until today, no one knows what caused BA. Some theory mentioned it could be genetics. Another theory highlighted that it could be viral or bacteria infection that caused this.

Dr Ng said Patrick need to go through a surgery known as operative cholangiogram to check whether he is having BA. Upon the initial surgery, the surgeon would be able to detect for certain what caused Patrick's condition.  If the initial surgery discovered to be BA, then his initial surgery would become KASAI where his gallbladder is required to be removed.  This was done to delay the deterioration of the liver. To give the liver some sufficient time to heal on its own.

We went to do some reading on our own.

The liver has ducts, so that the bile it produces can drain into the intestine and help with digestion of food. If these ducts are blocked, the KASAI procedure is a way to surgically bypass them and prevent liver damage. It is often the preferred treatment for biliary atresia.

We prayed and hope Patrick did not have anything serious such as biliary atresia and of other serious health conditions.

Finally a date was set. End of the month it would be his surgery to commence. Nervous we were, yet we will get to know the truth of Patrick's state.


  1. Jesus Christ healing and blessing mom and baby

    1. Thank you very much, Jennifer. Appreciate and grateful for your concern,care and prayers.

  2. We feel your pain, exhaustion and worry. And we also see your strength, endurance and humility. We can see why you and hubby were chosen to be Patrick's mummy and daddy. The both of you are doing great and Patrick is so blessed to have you.

  3. Thanks for your comments and encouragement, Anon. There were moments worries and fears do overwhelm me. ( You will notice when you continue reading my journey with my son)...I learnt not to stay there too long. I am very lucky I have a supportive husband. I do not know what would be the outcome of this uncertain journey; whether his liver will recover on its own or eventually need to have a liver transplant to save his life....I am appreciative, grateful and blessed I have an opportunity to experience what it mean to be a mother. Patrick is a blessing to me and my husband. He has given us so much joy, love. His presence changed our lives forever, for the better.

  4. Dear Cordy,
    I just saw your blog...
    Weird thing is that my baby is also called Patrick... and he also has BA and has recently undergone Kasai procedure!
    Do you have your blog content in a document? I would love to read your story! If you are able to email it to me that would be so amazing!
    I haven't had a chance to read it all yet, however thinking of you and your family!
    Kind regards, Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah. I only noticed your message now. Do you have an email where I could contact you? Alternatively, you could look at the list of articles where I wrote on my journey with Patrick below:-

      How is your Patrick? I hope his recovery would be well, safe and smooth.

      My son Patrick, he is stable and well. It is going to be one year liversary. He did his liver transplant last year.


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