The Ramsay Way 2019 | 02 17
Kareena Private team helps
baby with sugar allergy
Breastfeeding can be difficult enough
for most new mums, but for Kristina
Thacker, it could mean the difference
between life and death for her baby girl.
Audrey has a potentially fatal allergy to any
type of fructose – including the sugar found in
virtually all commercial infant formulas.
The baby, who was born at 29 weeks and
weighed in at just 1kg, was transferred to
Kareena Private Hospital for round-the-clock
clinical care to help her progress from her
11-week hospital journey to going home with
During this time, it was imperative that Kristina
kept her milk supply well established – which
she achieved with support from nursing staff
and lactation consultants.
“Just like her brother Jackson, Audrey has a
very rare genetic metabolic disorder called
Hereditary Fructose Intolerance,” Kristina said.
“Jackson was first diagnosed as a toddler. We
knew something was wrong because any kind
of sugar, including the natural sugars found
in fruits and vegetables, would cause a bad
rash, extreme bloating, excruciating gut pain
and explosive diarrhoea.”
“Eventually the allergy was so severe it caused liver damage,
because his little body doesn’t have the enzyme to break
down almost all sugars and sweeteners. “
Kristina said because the condition is fatal in tiny babies if
sugar is consumed intravenously, and because both parents
carry the mutated gene, they were told to tube feed Audrey
breast milk, until her test results came back.
“Although we were told there was an only a one in four
chance Audrey would have it too, it was still pretty devastating
when Audrey tested positive,” Kristina said.
“The hardest part was knowing that a dwindling milk supply
could be life-threatening for her.”
“At one stage I was so desperate to keep
my supply up, I was pumping every three hours which gave
me a massive milk supply of 1.5L per day, but also nearly gave
The breast care team at Kareena made some small changes
to Kristina’s feeding routine – such as cutting the double
pumping and only feeding from one breast at certain times –
which had a big impact on her breastfeeding success.
“I have since found only one potential brand of formula on the
planet that doesn’t appear to contain sugar. But the old saying
that mother’s milk is nature’s perfect food could not be truer in
Hospital CEO Mike Flatley, Parramatta Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson
and Ramsay Australia CEO Danny Sims
More support for expectant mothers
New and expectant mothers at Greenslopes Private Hospital will soon have access to more support
during and after their pregnancies through the ‘Know My Midwife’ program.
The national model developed for Ramsay Health Care
facilities will be on offer to maternity patients inside the
hospital from July.
“This is an opportunity for us to meet the women and start
to build up a relationship and rapport so when they do
come in to have their baby, it’s not the first time we are
seeing them,” Mrs Frost said.
Specially-trained midwives will provide patients with two
check-ups before the birth and post-natal appointments
for up to six weeks.
One of the check-ups will include a comprehensive
screening at 20 weeks, to ensure the health of the mother
“The women will come so we can talk through their birth
expectations, undertake a comprehensive midwifery care
plan and discuss additional specialist support if required,”
Mrs Frost said.
A group of Greenslopes midwives have undergone
additional training in preparation for the start of
They will work in conjunction with the obstetricians to
provide additional personal support for patients during
“It really complements the current obstetrician-led
model that we have. We have a strong relationship
with the doctors at the moment and this is very much
an additional avenue of support for women ”
Mrs Frost said.
The ‘Know My Midwife’ program will start as a trial
and expectant mothers will need consent from their
obstetricians to participate.
It is hoped the program will soon be available to all
mothers who give birth at Greenslopes Private Hospital
for Westmead Private
Westmead Private Hospital has officially opened
its stage two development with an afternoon
cocktail function on the new rooftop garden.
The Lord Mayor of Parramatta Andrew Wilson and Ramsay
Australia CEO Danny Sims celebrated the occasion, along
with doctors, staff, builders, designers and architects.
Mr Wilson said he was delighted Ramsay Health Care had
invested in his Western Sydney community, while Mr Sims
commended the development team for delivering on time
a hotel-style maternity unit for patients.
Since opening on 4 March, the maternity ward has
welcomed more than 550 births and has seen a 17%
increase in bookings compared to the same time period
in the previous year.
Kristina Thacker with baby Audrey.