Austin was born with lack of oxygen, which turned into severe brain damage, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. Katelyn’s placenta erupted during birth, with caused a lack of oxygen to Austin’s brain during the delivery process. This condition is known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), and it’s a serious form of infant brain damage with wide-reaching impacts on everyone involved.
Austin’s first five-and-a-half weeks were spent in hospital, and he requires constant attention to this day. While getting comfortable with this condition has not been easy, according to Katelyn, there is no secret: “It’s about putting things in perspective, taking things day by day, and enjoying the little moments as they come.” Instead of getting down and focusing on things she can’t change, Katelyn is dedicated to making Austin the happiest little boy he can be.
Like all families with special needs kids, Katelyn has experienced more than her fair share of judgement from strangers. From rude and dismissive comments to well-meaning but insensitive advice, most people don’t understand the challenges and stresses parents face when their children have complex needs.
However, instead of wasting time with anger and retaliation, Katelyn does what many people in her position do and chooses to bite her tongue. At the end of the day, “My energy is best given to Austin rather than trying to educate people who don’t care.”
Katelyn came across Supertee on Facebook, and she learned more about the program from another mum with a special little girl. Austin was already struggling with wires and tubes in hospital, and Supertee seemed like a useful solution in an extremely fun package. He had a central line in his neck and experienced distress whenever anything touched his face.
Being able to open up the Supertee without taking it off is an excellent help. This simple act made Austin much more comfortable in the hospital environment.