Tracey Rea gave birth to her son, Max in January 2006. As far as she and her husband, Mark, knew he was a healthy, happy baby. However, Max didn’t poo for the first 24 hours of his life and doctors thought he might have had Hirschsprung’s Disease. For the next 2 ½ years Max would have one, painful, bowel motion a week. Tracey tried using syrup of figs and laxatives and doctors even gave Max botox in his sphincter but nothing seemed work. Max started school and was regularly soiling himself which lead to bullying and a severe dip in his confidence.
At the age of 7 Max went into hospital to have bowel surgery which would mean he could then manage his bowel function with an ACE procedure. ACE stands for anterograde continence enema and involves doing bowel washouts through a ‘button’ on Max’s tummy. Tracey says “After a rough couple of months we decided it was a miracle! By that summer he was a different child.”
Tracey’s family has found support from a variety of sources, including the Breakaway Foundation, a UK charity that offers support to children with bladder and/or bowel diversions/dysfunction and their families. For Tracey the Breakaway Foundation “taught us to have fun again and showed us we’re not alone! Max has accepted his ACE now and is a calmer child.”
"It’s important to me to offer help to any other parents out there who might be struggling to cope." - Mum, Tracey
The family get Max’s washout supplies from the Amcare Group, and Tracey says “we feel we can really trust them and we like the personal touch of the friendly team who have helped us with preparing to take Max (and all his supplies) on holiday as well as the day-to-day organising of getting supplies in amongst busy family life!”
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