My name is Margareta and my gastro warrior is Antonija. We live in Croatia, a small country in Europe. Our gastroschisis story begins with Antonija’s birth on September 28th 2014. She was full term and born via induction because she was breech. I had 11 UZV scans during pregnancy, but her gastroschisis remained undetected until she was born.
She was urgently transported to our capital city Zagreb and had her closure surgery. Because of bowel necrosis, adhesions, ileuses and volvuluses, she had a few more big surgeries. She was transported between a few hospitals and NICU units because of her rare condition and needs for 16 months. She went on and off TPN through her temporary CVKs. Finally, we ended in Children’s Hospital Zagreb – “Klaićeva” – where she went under her final big surgery on February 4th 2016. She also received her first (and last) Broviac. She remained with 2/3 of her colon, 40 cm of small intestine and lost her ileocecal valve and got diagnosed with short bowel syndrome.
The first time I held her she was 2.5 months old. She came home from the hospital after her 2nd birthday. She got off TPN after her 3rd birthday. She has been TPN free since 14th October 2017 and Broviac free since Valentines Day 2018. Currently, she is oral by day and on continuous enteral feeds at nights via her PEG tube.
Except her special feeding, she is a normal child with a normal immune system, smaller in size but intellegent and very empathetic. She is my idol.
I’m very honored to be part of Avery’s Angels Gastroschisis Foundation and raising Gastroschisis Awareness in my country with the help of this wonderful team.