Thanks to countless medical tests and treatments, Lochie Hurley hasn’t had a happy two years; however, an intervention from Satan’s Little Helper should ensure smiles all round for him and his mum!
Two-year-old Lochie has caused doctors to scratch their heads. Since he was six months old, the boy from Whangārei has had a chronic cough and nobody has been able to get to the bottom of his health problems.
He’s already been through numerous hospitalisations, blood tests and infections. Before September 2022, Lochie was aspirating (when liquids are breathed into the airways), so his liquid intake was switched to an NG tube.
“He’s been on various antibiotics, which didn’t work, and his cough was getting worse,” explains his mum, Claire. “He’s been nil-by-mouth since December 2022.”
A boy born different
That means Lochie doesn’t eat or drink in a traditional sense. All his sustenance is delivered via a tube, which goes through his nose into his stomach.
The one thing specialists do know about Lochie is that his lungs are different, explains Claire.
“X-rays show he has big lungs, when they should be small. Doctors are hoping to find something like a hole in his lung that they can fix, which should help stop his chronic cough and infections.”
He’s only two-years-old but he’s already been through so much. Lochie couldn’t even enjoy any cake on his birthday, because he isn’t eating solid food.
“I’m so proud of him; he’s so resilient,” says Claire.
But kids shouldn’t have to be resilient; they should be carefree.
So, to add a bit more fun to Lochie’s day-to-day, Satan’s Little Helper sent a collection of toy trucks and some bubble-blowing equipment.
“He lit up when he saw the trucks and bubbles! He tries to sit on them and makes a ‘vroom vroom’ noise when he pushes them around. It’s also given his two brothers a way to play and socialise with him, because they’ve struggled to do that when Lochie has been sick.”
Claire says the bubbles are an effective way to cheer him up during those stints in hospital.
“Just after his bubbles arrived, he got put on oxygen, which was really scary. I had to try to cope any way I could, so I took a whole load of bubbles and blew them around the room, which made him laugh and giggle.
“It’s something so little but it causes him such joy. I’ve got so much worry and anxiety about his situation but, when I look at him and he’s smiling and playing, I can see that he’s still a happy kid. It helps me to calm down and be strong for him and get him through this horrible situation.”