Miracle child gives hope and inspiration
Full of life: Kai Woodard and mum Chantel. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Kai Woodard owes his life to five lots of surgery - all before he was born.

The four-year-old was a foetus in his mother's womb in 2009 when he was diagnosed with life-threatening conditions - congenital chylothorax and hydrops fetalis - causing fluid to build up around his lungs and in his stomach.

His mother Chantel said the efforts of staff at King Edward Memorial Hospital and the Women and Infants Research Foundation kept him alive and they have been watching over him since.

"He's our miracle and without the wonderful treatment we got, we wouldn't have Kai with us today," Ms Woodard said.

"We went through several weeks in the pregnancy when it was unclear if he would make it and whether we would have to terminate."

Ms Woodard's experience inspired her to work with the hospital, the foundation and WA Charity Direct to set up an online support group for women experiencing a foetal syndrome diagnosis.

"Learning of Kai's condition before I had reached the halfway mark in my pregnancy and not knowing until after he was born if he would survive was such a frightening journey," she said.

"I wanted to help other women facing a prenatal diagnosis who otherwise have to rely on Dr Google.

"Because Kai survived, I felt a responsibility to give something back and offer hope."

The network is working with the foundation's Fetal Futures Program, a research project supported by the Channel Seven Telethon Trust, which tracks the long-term outcomes of children born at KEMH with problems diagnosed during pregnancy.

Maternal foetal specialist and obstetrician Jan Dickinson said it was trying to find better ways to deal with prenatal conditions to track the long-term impact they could have on a child's life.

Details can be found at wirf.com.au/research- studies and fetalfutures support.com.au

The West Australian

Popular videos

Change location


- °

Lifestyle Videos

Follow Us

More from The West