Dexter glad to be home
By KERRIELYN CLARK
Oct. 7, 2013, 5:49 p.m.
for writing another lovely article about Dexter.
We wanted to thank the Lions Club,
for helping Dexter purchase his standing frame.
Here is the article:
Last week's hospital stay was the result of saliva that Dexter swallowed into his lungs, a common complication for people with cerebral palsy, but Dexter's first experience of the problem.
After six days of antibiotic treatment, Dexter showed his trademark determination.
While this incident was relatively minor one, Mrs Heffernan recalled "too many images" of other close calls for Dexter, and his family have learned not to underestimate his spirit.
"He is a fighter, an absolute fighter, and he is so stubborn and so determined . . . you know what, he is so cheeky, he really is," Mrs Heffernan said.
"He is smart too. He learns things so quickly."
Dexter was born at 31 weeks and spent 122 days in neo-natal intensive care units.
As well as cerebral palsy, he is visually impaired and last year was diagnosed with liver cancer.
After chemotherapy, doctors declared Dexter cancer free early this year.
Speaking last week after the setback, Mrs Heffernan said Dexter was improving and back enjoying his new walker and standing frame.
A generous but anonymous benefactor bought the walker in August. Money for the walker won in the Sunsuper competition was diverted to the Kiama Lions Club to help with the frame. The club made up the $1200 difference in cost.
Dexter is often serious but when placed in the walker, his rare smiles come.
He can spend a couple of hours in the frame and Mrs Heffernan said it had made a big difference to his life.
"Dexter never really played, but I get smiles from him and laughs when he's in here," she said.
"There's a tray I put on it with balls in it and the balls end up all over the floor. He's being a kid. It's really good.
"It doesn't sound like much - a standing frame - but you don't realise how much time you spend standing."
Mrs Heffernan said when Dexter outgrows the frame, it would be donated back to the club to help another child.
On November 22, the Doing it for Dexter fundraiser will be held at The Pavilion Kiama. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Heffernans are also seeking support for a charity close to their heart - Camp Quality - through their Dexter's Mates campaign for the i98 Camp Quality Truck Convoy. For details, see dextersmates. weebly.com/name-on-truck.
Thanks Kerrielyn and Dylan.