An eight-month-old baby is severely brain damaged and will never walk or talk again after choking on an everyday healthy snack.
The life-changing incident happened when mother-of-two Stephanie Johnson was feeding her two daughters Rani, eight months, and Millie, three, at their Emerald home, nine hours north west of Brisbane, in Queensland on the afternoon of April 26.
But baby Rani suddenly began choking on a piece of mango that was lodged right at the back of her throat and not able to be removed.
Ms Johnson’s partner Rogan Macdonald performed CPR on Rani before paramedics arrived to rush the child to hospital.
Ms Johnson gives Rani a kiss. ‘We live in hope everyday for a medical miracle for Rani but we have been told that she won’t walk or talk for herself again,’ she said
The lack of oxygen has left Rani’s brain with ‘extensive damage’, meaning she will never be able to walk or talk again.
Making matters worse, she will need to be fed through a nasal tube for the rest of her life and is most likely to be both blind and deaf.
Ms Johnson recalled the horrifying moment Rani began choking, saying she immediately went into ‘freak-out mode’.
She ran outside to call her partner Mr Macdonald, who rushed inside to perform life-saving CPR on his daughter.
‘He grabbed Rani and tried to do whatever we could to get it out and then I called an ambulance and he commenced infant CPR,’ Ms Johnson told The Courier-Mail.
Mr Macdonald performed CPR on his daughter for five minutes before Queensland Ambulance arrived at the scene.
Ms Johnson accompanied Rani with the paramedics to Emerald Hospital, where the baby got six hours of initial treatment
The mother and daughter were later flown to Queensland Children’s Hospital where Rani spent days in an induced coma.
Rani’s grandmother, her father Rogan Macdonald, mother Stephanie Johnson and three-year-old sister Millie comfort her in hospital. Her father performed life-saving CPR on her prior to coming to hospital
On day four in hospital, a heartbreaking MRI revealed the true extent of Rani’s brain damage from the lack of oxygen.
‘The told us to start with that the brain injury she suffered would be moderate to severe but after a second MRI they said it was an extensively severe disability,’ Ms Johnson told The Courier Mail.
‘We live in hope everyday for a medical miracle for Rani but we have been told that she won’t walk or talk for herself again.’
A GoFundMe page called ‘Our beautiful Rani’ has been started by family friends to support Ms Johnson, Mr Macdonald and their two daughters.
‘Rogan, Steph, Millie and Rani have a massive road ahead of them and it is likely that Rani will be in hospital for 12 months or more,’ the page read.
‘To help ease the burden and to keep the family unit together for as long as possible, we have set up this GoFundMePage and I’m sure they would greatly appreciate anything you can give.
‘We live in hope everyday that beautiful Rani will be a medical miracle. Your love, prayers and thoughts are appreciated at this most difficult time.’
Since being created on May 3, the page has reached $42,266 in funds, exceeding its $30,000 target.
Ms Johnson thanked family, friends and complete strangers who offered to help family of four on May 16.
‘We are so thankful for all our family and friends and complete strangers who are reaching out to us and keeping Rani in your thoughts,’ Ms Johnson wrote on Facebook.
In addition to financial support, people have been feeding their dog, mowing their lawn, providing cooked meals in hospital and toys for Rani and Millie.
The mother has been advocating for all parents to learn CPR as it could save the life of a loved one.
‘If you haven’t done your First Aid Course or CPR lately or at all please do it ASAP as it can save the life of a loved one or a complete stranger,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘Don’t think for one second that it won’t happen to you ’cause your life can change in a second.’