Every day is a blessing for Rockingham resident Jaime Simmonds.
Her 14-month-old son, Braydan, was born with a rare medical condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia.
It happens during pregnancy when a baby’s diaphragm does not form correctly, allowing organs in the stomach cavity to move up into the chest, preventing proper lung growth and placing pressure on the heart.
Mrs Simmonds, a mother of four, plans to shave her head on February 2 to help volunteer organisation CDH Australia raise awareness of the condition and money for research. She hopes to raise $2000.
Up to 50 per cent of the one-in-2500 babies born with CDH will not survive and those who do may have life-long problems.
Mrs Simmonds said she felt lucky to have Braydan in her life after he was given just a 30 per cent chance of survival in 2011 when she was in the second trimester of pregnancy.
“Doctors asked me if I wanted to terminate, but I wanted to give him a chance to survive,” she said.
Moments after he was born, Braydan was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital to have a major operation to put his organs back into position. Fourteen months on, Mrs Simmonds said Braydan’s future was looking bright, despite some ongoing problems.
“He is very smart and developmentally on track,” Mrs Simmonds said. “He suffers from severe reflux, but he is not on oxygen, he is not fed from a tube, he doesn’t have anything sticking out from his tummy and he hasn’t re-herniated. But it is just because he has been lucky.”
To donate to Mrs Simmonds’ cause visit www.CDH.org.au/donate or www.faceboook.com/jaimesimmonds1.