Zachery blooms despite surgeries

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 13:00 15/01/2014
Zachary Adams
MARTIN DE RUYTER/ Fairfax NZ
HAPPY KID: Bonnie Creighton with her son, Zachary Adams, who had heart surgery last year.

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Richmond baby Zachary Adams has undergone five operations in his first 10 months of life.

Symptoms from a serious internal condition prompted his parents, Bonnie Creighton and Matt Adams, to take Zachary back to the special care unit shortly after he was born. There, he was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect in his heart.

The defect was corrected with a major operation at Starship hospital in June, by which time he had also received treatment for intestinal malrotation and a bout of bronchiolitis. He had spent a total of nine weeks in hospital by the time Ms Creighton was first interviewed by the Nelson Mail in August.

She then described Zachary as "the happiest kid", saying he had begun to look better just a week after his heart surgery.

"I just can't believe how happy he is. He did so well. If it was us having a heart operation, it wouldn't take a week to get over it."

Last week, she said Zachary was growing up quickly despite his many surgeries. Since August, he had learned to stand up by himself, grown his first tooth and begun to take his first steps.

Zachary underwent his fifth round of surgery on December 18, and has a sixth operation scheduled next month. Ms Creighton said there was a good chance her son would need further surgeries in the future as he lacked an appendix and would likely need one to be made.

She said it had been hard juggling Zachary's extensive care with the care of her older son, Jordan, 3. Her parents, Elaine and John, had taken care of Jordan while she stayed with Zachary at Ronald McDonald House, and Ms Creighton also wanted to thank Life Flight for their help in transporting her son.

"I don't think things will get any easier," she said. "He's always happy, though, he's always smiling."

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