Mother-of-two, Bree Pennie still wonders if her young son would be walking like normal kids if she hadn’t sucked on her older daughter’s dummy to clean it.
What if she didn’t drink from Dylan’s bottle her little brother Dax would be able to talk.
Or if she ate a fresh slice of toast instead of finishing off her eldest’s breakfast, maybe her youngest would have been in a position to feed himself.
And, just maybe, if she would have put a pause on those beautiful but sloppy toddler kisses would life be different?
Lucky are those who get answers to the most painful questions in life and Bree is certainly not one of them. She still has no idea how on Earth dis she contracted a devastating but common virus while she was 20 weeks pregnant with Dax thus leaving him severely disabled.
The 36-year-old mother from Burrill Lake, NSW accidentally contracted Cytomegalovirus from her older daughter Dylan that ruined her son. She says she will carry a ‘burden of guilt’ forever.
Hoping that such tragedy never happens to anyone, Bree is now issuing a heartbreaking warning to women, especially those with young children, to take extra caution while pregnant.
She told Femail, ‘I can’t be certain if I contracted it from my daughter, we’ve never had her tested. We felt I already carry a burden that I passed on the virus to Dax, that burden didn’t need to be shared.’
‘She will know in time her CMV status and if she has had past exposure. However, it is likely this is where I contracted CMV.’
The virus is extremely contagious in children under the age of two. Dylan was 18 months old at the time it struck.
Bree said, ‘She is very social in playgroups, crèche and Kindergym, and later in my pregnancy she attended childcare.’
‘She was often unwell, as most children this age are, with a snotty nose.’
The virus that Bree contracted from her daughter has left her son, who is now four, with several lasting disabilities. He is unable to walk, talk, feed himself or even use the toilet on his own.
With a sad heart, she said, ‘We have a beautiful boy, he has a smile that will melt your heart, a laugh which is infectious and determination that will move a mountain.’
‘He has microcephaly (incomplete brain development), cerebral palsy, polymicrogyria (abnormally thick brain cortex), hearing loss and developmental delays,’ Bree said.
‘But the reality is, his needs are high, he is getting bigger and our backs are getting weaker.’
With no prior exposure to CMV, Bree had no immunity to the virus.
‘Knowing now what I know there are many things I would have done differently,’ she said.
‘I would have made myself a fresh piece of toast instead of finishing off my toddler’s leftovers as I was running out the door.
‘I would have asked for cheek kisses instead of sloppy lip kisses from my sweet little girl.’
Source – Daily Mail