Assistance to Andreas Sheppard
Baby Andreas Sheppard is well known in the Tasmanian community for being an absolute fighter. He suffers from a hole in his heart (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) and needs constant medical attention wherever he is; at home, in the Royal Hobart Hospital or the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. Baby Andreas and his family have been featured many times in the Mercury newspaper and many people in the Tasmanian community have endeavoured to support the family through their tough times. The Tasmania Police Charity Trust was approached to help provide support by way of funding hospital grade equipment to the value of $3,000, which could be installed in his home. Luckily Mum Liz has nursing knowledge and this had enabled Andreas to remain in the home as much as possible (up until early July 2012). The monitor (a Patient Portable Monitor IntelliVue) has multiple features; measuring blood pressure, measuring respitory rates, oxygen levels in the blood and provides an ECG facility. The idea was that provision of the equipment would assist in keeping Andreas at home; where he could be with his family and their pet cat, which he loves.
Unfortunately though, in Andreas' short life, he has been backwards and forwards to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne many times, and during July 2012 he became dangerously ill. He was taken urgently to Melbourne for treatment and as of late July was moved to the bereavement/pallative family room there. Many compassionate nurses looked after Andreas, and after much time spent in that room, he emerged still fighting, and was moved back to another ward.
Andreas' fight is an emotional rollercoaster ride for the whole family, as he continues to try to overcome seizures and suffers from dangerously low oxygen levels. He requires continuous oxygen, is on morphine and takes 22 medications per day. Liz in the meantime remains positive, and has incredible fortitude; she remains upbeat and has a long-term plan to assist many other people who have babies suffering from the same condition. The Sheppard family are inspiring to say the least.
Andreas died peacefully in early October 2012, in the arms of his Mum and Dad. The family had just had enough time between Andreas leaving hospital in Melbourne for a quick one and only family holiday (with Andreas and his siblings) in Queensland prior to returning to Hobart. Andreas touched the hearts of thousands of people in his short life. The heart monitor donated by the Trust will be utilised to assist other babies just like Andreas.