Baby Lilliana ready for next fight

JAI Sheridan and Elisha Robinson almost feel like pinching themselves as they watch their baby girl crawl around their lounge room floor.

Just seven weeks ago doctors told the young parents baby Lilliana could die, or lose all her limbs, after she contracted meningococcal on a family holiday in Thailand.

Sitting at her bedside in Phuket Hospital the 24 and 23-year-old slowly began to accept the "best case scenario" would be for Lilliana to live, but become an amputee.

Baby Lilliana Sheridan had infections in both of her legs after contracting meningococcal while in Thailand on holiday with her Gold Coast family.
Baby Lilliana Sheridan had infections in both of her legs after contracting meningococcal while in Thailand on holiday with her Gold Coast family.

Yesterday Lilliana was finally home, smiling and bouncing on her dad's knee, before crawling around the room, like any normal nine-month-old.

But unlike a normal baby, Lilliana has a tube in her nose, to make sure she gets enough food, she has a bandage on her left arm and a vacuum dressing on her right leg.

The dressing on her right leg has a tube which runs into a battery powered vacuum, inside of which is dead skin and mucous that has been sucked off her open wound.

The family still have a long road ahead, but they have their daughter.

Baby Lilliana Sheridan in Thailand with her mother Elisha Robinson.
Baby Lilliana Sheridan in Thailand with her mother Elisha Robinson.

Tomorrow surgeons will try to put a skin graft on the open wound on Lilliana Sheridan's right leg.

They don't know if it will take, and may have to repeat the procedure again, and again.

"Everyday you wake up and you're grateful she is still here," Mum, Ms Robinson said.

"She went from being a healthy little baby to almost dying in my arms."

On October 25, Lilliana had a fever and Ms Robinson stayed behind while Mr Sheridan went for food.

"She was getting hotter, something was wrong, I freaked out, jumped in the shower with her and she started having convulsions.

Baby Lilliana Sheridan contracted meningococcal in Thailand and almost had to have limbs amputated. Lilliana is finally at home at Nerang with parents Jai Sheridan and Elisha Robinson. Picture Glenn Hampson
Baby Lilliana Sheridan contracted meningococcal in Thailand and almost had to have limbs amputated. Lilliana is finally at home at Nerang with parents Jai Sheridan and Elisha Robinson. Picture Glenn Hampson

"I looked at her lips and they were blue, her fingers were blue, her feet were blue and I thought the shower was too cold.

"I wrapped her in a towel and ran out the front and I started screaming 'she is dying'."

Mr Sheridan arrived minutes later and the two desperately looked for help, soon finding an ambulance with the help of locals.

Holding Lilliana, the couple huddled in the back of the ambulance as it navigated its way through the hilly and busy streets of Patong.

The family were quickly transferred from Patong to Phuket hospital with a police escort.

That night doctors told the couple Lilliana had a 30 per cent chance of survival.

Her limbs swelled up, as her arms, fingers and legs went black with septic poisoning.

"It was at the point we thought the best case scenario was for her to lose all her limbs but survive," Ms Robinson said.

After five days at Bangkok Hospital in Phuket and showing great signs of recovery, Lilliana was medevaced to Samitivej International Children's Hospital in Bangkok.

There she improved, against the odds, and doctors ruled out amputation before flying her back to Australia.

"Hopefully the skin graft will take … Doctors are worried about how much movement she will have in her leg," Ms Robinson said.

"They have told us to except to be making regular trips to the hospital for a really long time, potentially years."

Lilliana Sheridan is recovering in a Bangkok hospital after surgeons operated on her legs.
Lilliana Sheridan is recovering in a Bangkok hospital after surgeons operated on her legs.


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