Toddler's prognosis the second blow to family
RENEE Bell still remembers how the nurses were waiting with a box of tissues on Mother's Day 2017.
It was the day doctors delivered the news that her 12-week-old son, Mason, had suffered a 12-minute cardiac arrest while under anaesthetic in preparation for surgery, resulting in a severe brain injury.
He was also now blind, deaf, would never walk and was only able to be tube-fed.
Only months prior to the devastating news, Mason's father Adam Haevecker had been diagnosed with cancer.
Miss Bell, 33, and Mr Haevecker, 34, from Bahrs Scrub, were in the Logan Hospital at the same time Mason was born on February 16, 2017 but the newborn was not diagnosed with life-threatening pulmonary hypertension for another eight weeks.
Mason successfully underwent open heart surgery at the Queensland Children's Hospital - then called the Lady Cilento - at nine weeks old, but was rushed back into surgery three weeks later as fluid had built up around his heart and needed to be drained.
Miss Bell, who has been documenting Mason's Journey on Facebook, said they waited for about two hours, though they originally anticipated a 30 minute operation.
"We got a phone call from one of the nurses saying bub was out of theatre and was coming back to his room so we were able to go and see him," she said.
"There were big glass doors you walk through and there were nurses waiting for us with a box of tissues.
"The doctors called us into a room to have a chat to us."
The couple was then given the devastating news that their baby had suffered a cardiac arrest as he was placed under anaesthesia.
"They tried CPR but couldn't quite get his heart started so put him on a life support machine," she said.
Little Mason was taken off life support two days later his parents and three older siblings were told he was not expected to live for more than two weeks.
Despite being in and out of hospital, Mason defied the odds and reached his second birthday on February 16, but his family have been since been informed his health is deteriorating and to prepare for the worst.
Miss Bell said Mason has up to 20 seizures per day, showed early signs of cerebral palsy and could not support his own head or body.
"He looks like a newborn baby but he's two," she said.
With all medical options exhausted and Mason's health deteriorating, Miss Bell said the toddler was approved to start a trial medication, called Bosentan, in late March.
"We are just living in the moment with him, take each day as they come and hope the new drug gives us more time," she said.
"With Mason being the way he is, he might not wake up again.
"We don't know how long he has left, it's pretty much a wait and see … but we have been told it's now a matter of weeks, not months."
Mr Haevecker, who works in a supermarket bakery, already had to reduce his working hours due to melanoma and having to undergo treatment before anything happened with Mason.
After seeing what the family had gone through, Shelley Stoneman-Mason started a Go Fund me account with the hope of raising $20,000 to try to help with some of the family's expenses.
"Could this family be dealt with any more heartache??? (sic)" she wrote in the GoFund me description.
Miss Bell said any money raised would go towards medical and household expenses and the hope that Mr Haevecker could have some time off to spend with his son in his anticipated final weeks.
"Adam is only going to work for four hours a day right now and then comes straight up to the hospital," she said.
"Some of the money would go towards Adam not having to go to work so we can spend time with Mason, as we don't know if he's going to wake up not breathing."
Mr Haevecker was recovering from surgery he had hours earlier at Logan Hospital when Miss Bell gave birth to Mason.
Nurses managed to wheel Mr Haevecker into the delivery room but Miss Bell said he doesn't remember much due to the painkillers he was on post-surgery.