Parents’ bid to raise awareness

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PARENTS of a 16-week-old baby who has had to undergo life-saving surgery and has spent half his life in a hospital are looking to raise awareness of prolonged jaundice.

Janet and Anthony Wilkinson’s son Jack underwent a life-saving operation after he was sent for tests when his jaundice did not clear up after six weeks from birth.

He was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital after being diagnosed with a one- in-15,000 baby liver disease called Biliary Atresia.

The protocol recommended by the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation is to consult a paediatrician for tests if a newborn still has jaundice two weeks after birth.

The family, of Olympic Way, Kettering, are looking to make more parents aware of this.

Mum Janet, 36, said: “We felt devastated and helpless.

“Jack didn’t have the operation until he was eight-weeks-old and we only hope this wasn’t too late.

“We need to see whether his liver deteriorates further.

“The protocol should be that if jaundice fails to clear after two weeks of age then a test should be carried out.

Jack could also be put on the liver transplant list but the family have raised £1,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

A spokesman from Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “The trust follows the guidelines and practices recommended by Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

“Any parent or carer who is concerned about their child’s health should speak to their health visitor or GP.”

For more information go to www.yellowalert.org.