AINSLIE MIGUEL DU PREEZ
Ainslie was born on the 23 March 2008 in Kimberley at Galeshewe Day Clinic. At birth the nurse's explained that he had all the signs of a Down Syndrome baby, but could not say for sure because his arms and legs where completely twisted and bend. Because it was a Sunday they couldn't send us straight to the hospital for further tests, but gave a date for the Monday. Well I wasn't ready for what I had to hear so we only went to hospital the following Monday. Coming back from the X-rays Dr Powell explained that Ainslie is a very rare case as he suffers from Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 2 and that he is beyond fragile. The X-rays showed that he had +_27 long and short bone fractures which included broken ribbs and his skull presented wormain (meaning the skull had broken pieces). Dr Powell said that Ainslie only had one week to live due to the amount of fractures he has sustained and that Ainsile was in servere pain, which explained why he was crying and screaming most of the time. She further explained that if he exceeded the week then he will only live until he is a year old, because that is the life span of someone with Osteogenesis Imperfecta Type 2. However she got us an appointment with Dr Henderson at the Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein.
Dr Henderson is a genetics Professor, who told me the same things that Dr Powell said, but he was determined to help Ainslie in anyway he could. After many days in hospital and the many tests he endured I also learned more about him and his condition. For one he literally didn't stop crying and other's that looked on tried to give advice, but they quickly understood the situation better once I explained his condition to them.I learned how to take care of him because bathing and cleaning time was, and still is a challenge. There was no doubt he would end up with fractures by me simply taking care of him, seeing excessive swelling and sweating would indicate that he had a fracture, I found that carrying him on a pillow helped us both.
One morning in July 2008 I took him to the clinic because he wasn't well that night, they gave me a letter referring me to the hospital. As we waited at the clinic for the ambulance I saw him struggling to breathe, I immediately decided to take a taxi to the hospital. Running from the taxi rank to the hospital was a chance I was willing to take, as it turned out a second later would have been to late. They immediately put him on oxygen and a while later we saw that he was slowly returning to us. We stayed in hospital for more than 2 months while Dr Swartz tried to get a home oxygen tank for him. During this time in the Hospital the nurses counselled me at least six times that I must be prepared for anything, at least two times Dr Swartz battled to revive him of which both times looked very bleek.
Getting the home oxygen tank brought up another problem. We could no longer stay where we lived so my cousin had to fetch the important things and take it to her house before we got discharged. The reason for this was that the oxygen tank cannot be exposed to smoke or dust. Ainsile was on oxygen for alsmost six months, he was under intense supervision at the hospital so they gave us an oxygen cylinder that helped us to move to and from the hospitals including the one in Bloemfontein. I remeber one night we affected by load shedding and his cylinder was empty, with just one call and the ambulance raced to our house to assist us. He was admitted a number of times to the Kimberley Hospital for the first 5 years of him life.
For the most part things were very bad and strenuous, but we finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though he’d bones did not stop breaking or did he stop having pain, some surprises came through like he started speaking at two and a half years. His strong and vibrant personality forced us to see that he wasn't going anywhere. His arms showed to be strongest, while both femurs showed to be the weakest as it broke almost instantly. Therefore his orthopaedic doctor; Dr Smith decided to do the operation just before he turned five which meant inserting William rods in both femurs.
The operation took place at the Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein on the 02 February 2013. This was the longest day of my life waiting for him to come out of threatre. That night I learned of something called Spica Syndrome, just when i thought it was sleeping time Ainslie started screaming like he was stucked into a horror movie. It carried on for three hole nights and I had to change his position every 2 hours and support him with pillows. Let's just say this hole ordeal took a lot out of both of us and it carried on for six months with monthly visits to Bloemfontein.
Two years after the operation we noticed that he is not able to continue with his excerises such as sliding on floors climbing up and down the couch and standing up against it. Now his movements were very restricted and it set him back in a big way.
Ainslie is wheelchair bound and he is able to get around by himself on a smooth surface, but he feels frustrated at times, because he cannot go outside alone or move around by himself in the yard. In the past him being unattended led to two accidents both on different occasions in 2015. Each occurred when one of his friends would come over to play with him and then secretly try to push him, and both times he capsized while in the wheelchair leaving him with a broken arm. There is are no words that can describe what happens in that moment and the days following any incident, all I can say is that he is one strong and determinded child.
Ainslie is a true miracle in the full sense of the word. One thing I can tell you is that Ainslie has endured many obsticles as a child and he has since fought his condition, life and hardships with the cutest smile ever. As Ainslie's mother I am grateful for the process because I have learned patience, endurance and compassion on a greater scale. In 2016 he had an operation at Baragwanath Hospital to correct one of the rods that pushed through his hip.
March of 2020 he is due for another operation, this time to remove both rods and to give him a change for a new treatment.
Ainslie loves cars, speed, music, but he mostly enjoys movies, serieses and playing video games.