This Baby Died 19 Times Last Year

Sasha Brown-Worsham

If you're the kind of parent who wakes up at least once per night even once your babies are sleeping just to make sure they're still breathing, then you will feel for these parents. Nine-month-old Australian baby Joshua Herron has a baffling condition in which he stops breathing and must be revived to live. Last year, in his first nine months of life, it happened 19 times.

His parents are now well-trained to revive the infant, but say it's hard because the doctors told them to hit the boy as hard as they can. The breathing, of course, is more important than whether they break his bones.

But the almost brutal revival methods -- sharp pokes to the stomach followed by slaps on the back before CPR -- often leave her wondering how many times he will forgive her. "It's an awful feeling to have to hit your baby so firmly," she said. "Each time I think: will this affect our relationship? You wait for that smile, then you know he's OK."

I cannot even imagine.

These parents set an alarm that wakes them if he stops breathing for more than 20 seconds, and with 19 times in 9 months, one can imagine it isn't infrequent.

His father's biggest wish?

"That he will grow out if it, that he will be healthy and strong and grow up to be a normal kid," Damien said. "And that he'll let us get a bit of sleep!"

It's hard to imagine being as positive as they seem and makes you take stock and be grateful for your own children. Maybe the next time my 4-year-old wakes me in the night so she can go pee-pee and I stumble out slightly annoyed, I will remember these parents.

There is nothing I wouldn't give up for my children to be happy. I'm sure most parents feel that way. These parents are proving that. Hopefully at some point the doctors can pinpoint what is causing poor Joshua these troubles and fix it.

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Image via Herald Sun

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