Imagine if the sight of a sippy cup or a spoon left your child terrified, or if a plate laden with food saw them shrieking in fear. Yet this is the reality NSW mum Emily Greig faces with her baby boy Cooper. After being born lifeless and undergoing extensive resuscitation for the first nine minutes of his life, the trauma he’s endured since has been severe.
Diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), which is a type of brain injury incurred from oxygen loss, it has resulted in critical issues with swallowing and sucking for Cooper. As well, it’s meant being fed through a nasogastric tube (which is inserted through his nose and into his stomach) every day for the first 13 months of his life. Unsurprisingly, such an ordeal left behind mental scars, so much so that anything which came too close to Cooper’s mouth resulted in acute anxiety.