LIFE SAVING: Part of the team that saved Ryder’s life: Registered nurse Jessica Peters, clinical nurse Janelle McMillan, enrolled nurse Kathy Goleby, Dr Rasika Kotakadeniya, Dr Judy Williams, Dr David Armstrong, Dr Matt Wakeley, Sean Wiegand, Sarah Wiegand and Ryder Wiegand.
LIFE SAVING: Part of the team that saved Ryder’s life: Registered nurse Jessica Peters, clinical nurse Janelle McMillan, enrolled nurse Kathy Goleby, Dr Rasika Kotakadeniya, Dr Judy Williams, Dr David Armstrong, Dr Matt Wakeley, Sean Wiegand, Sarah Wiegand and Ryder Wiegand.

Parents thank hospital heroes who saved bub's life

Ryder Wiegand was only two weeks old when his parents, Sean and Sarah Wiegand, had to say their goodbyes before he was taken in for emergency surgery at Bundaberg Hospital.

Ryder had been throwing up yellow vomit and uncontrollably crying before he was diagnosed with midgut volvulus - a twisting of the gut - that left him in a life-threatening condition requiring immediate surgery to untwist the intestines.

Mr Wiegand spoke about the moment they were told Ryder would have to go into emergency, life-threatening surgery.

Surgery never attempted in Bundaberg before.

"When they told us it was a life-threatening operation Sarah couldn't talk at all, she was beside herself," he said.

"The hospital was telling us some of the risks and we were concerned that it wasn't going to go well, but in the same respect we knew he was very strong and a small chance to save him was better than not knowing what would happen.

"They told us that the surgery had never been done in this hospital before and that the anaesthetist and surgeons were really reluctant to do it, but when they looked into Ryder's situation it had to be now, so they made the call."

MIRACLE BABY: Sean and Sarah Wiegand with baby Ryder at the Bundaberg Hospital.
MIRACLE BABY: Sean and Sarah Wiegand with baby Ryder at the Bundaberg Hospital.

Ms Wiegand said she was so relieved when they were told the surgery was successful.

"There was just instant relief when they told us they had untwisted it and now it is not life threatening," she said.

But that wasn't the end of Ryder's medical journey as he was transferred to the Children's Hospital in Brisbane and had to undergo further procedures to prevent the disease recurring.

While relief still washed over the couple, Mrs Wiegand said it was hard to see Ryder in such a fragile condition.

"It was good to see him progress but at the same time seeing all the machines he was hooked up to and all the fluids that he was on was enough to scare me, he was so swollen and just didn't look like our baby," she said.

Queensland Children's Hospital senior pediatric surgeon Kevin Choo led the team that instructed Bundaberg staff performing the delicate operation.

"I cannot think of a more critical surgical emergency in pediatrics than this condition and I have no doubt that the Bundaberg Hospital team saved Ryder's life," he said.

Now two months old, Ryder is thriving and Mrs Wiegand was in tears yesterday as she thanked the team that saved her baby's life.

"I'd like to say thank you to everyone involved, I am honestly so grateful for everybody. Without them, he wouldn't be here," she said.

Bundaberg Hospital Director of Medical Services Dr Sue Page praised the collaborative way the local paediatricians, surgeons and anaesthetists worked with Queensland's Children's Hospital to provide the necessary care.

"A delay in treatment for midgut volvulus of only a few hours would have left Ryder with complete bowel infarction and death, whereas prompt surgery by the Bundaberg Hospital team to devolve the gut prevented the catastrophe and brought an excellent prognosis with an expectation of a normal life," Dr Page said.

"It's a great example of team work as it involved the prompt diagnosis of the condition by our pediatricians, specialist consultation from the Queensland Children's Hospital team and the outstanding work of out Bundaberg Hospital surgeons and anaesthetics team undertaking the procedure."