On 3 Mar 2018, former local actor Joshua Ang married the love of his life, Shannon Low.
The couple welcomed their first son, Jed on 1 Aug 2018.
Three days later, the couple was finally able to bring their son home.
However, this was the start of their nightmare, as journaled in Ang’s blog post on 8 Jun. They hired a confinement nanny, via a friend’s recommendation, whose actions and negligence would later land baby Jed in the intensive care unit (ICU).
They were told that the nanny had 12 years of experience as a confinement lady, and was fully booked back then. Seeing how healthy their friend’s baby was, they trusted her and hired her for the next 28 days for $3,000 (including a $500 deposit).
Within days of work, Ang alleged the nanny did not follow any of their instructions. She insisted on doing things her way and would always disallow the couple from carrying their baby. She also disregarded the herbs and tonics by friends and sponsors for Low.
She even prepared Jed’s milk using formula milk because it was easier, letting Low’s breast milk to go to waste by not storing it into the freezer. “She was really nosy as well, poking her nose into our private family matters. She also asked Shannon’s mom to buy her skin care products because hers was depleting.” Ang mentioned in his blog post.
Despite all this, Ang and his family did not say anything then, they just wanted the nanny to perform her job – taking care of Low and Jed.
Having no experience in taking care of a newborn, the couple decided to trust the nanny’s way of doing things even though she was always overfeeding Jed. According to Ang, the nanny reportedly fed the newborn at least 120-150ml every time. This was two times more than the recommended 60ml per feed by Jed’s paediatrician.
“We were too kind and nice towards her. Total regret. She was too complacent, authoritative, and took advantage of our kindness and made us feel as if we are overly-worried parents.”
On 8 Aug 2018, Jed started wheezing in his sleep. Ang noted that when Jed tried to cry, it sounded like he was out of breath. Worried, the couple consulted the nanny for advice, but she allegedly accused the baby of “faking it” and that he will be all right in a bit.
Ignoring the nanny’s negation, Ang went out to get a nose bulb to help clear Jed’s nose in case it was stuffed. However, nothing came out, and Jed’s wheezing got worse, with his cries becoming muffled.
Low then realized that Jed was feeling much warmer than usual. Again, the nanny brushed it off and insisted that the house was very ill ventilated and warm.
Even when Ang and Low insisted on bringing their child to the hospital, the nanny allegedly told them off, before taking her time to pack Jed’s diaper bag.
Ang took out the thermometer and discovered that Jed was burning at 38.3°. He even started to turn purple, so the couple rushed him to KK Hospital immediately while the nanny went back to sleep.
Jed was rushed to the ER and subsequently admitted to the ICU.
By noon 9 Aug 2018, the doctors diagnosed Jed with aspiration pneumonia, with milk in his lungs. With this, Ang was convinced that the baby was choking on the milk due to overfeeding. Jed was put on multiple drips.
By 10 Aug 2018, Jed wasn’t responding to the medicine given. His fever wouldn’t subside, and his oxygen levels kept dropping. His right hand was so swollen from the drips that the doctors had to start the drips on his legs instead. At that point of time, there were at least 7 or 8 drips on him.
When the couple reached home, the nanny had already packed her bags and was ready to leave. With no apology or concern for Jed, the nanny did not even prepare the confinement meals, nor wash up the used bottles and pumps.
The nanny left in tears after Low’s mum gave her the red packet. She insisted that it wasn’t her fault.
Given the seriousness of Jed’s condition, the couple felt that something else was amiss. True to their suspicions, Low and Ang discovered that the teat of the bottles was large enough to fit a straw, resulting in a fast milk flow which one-week-old Jed could not handle.
On 11 Aug, Jed wasn’t getting any better.
His oxygen levels continued to drop and, the mask was changed to tubes through his nose; one to feed him, one to help him breathe.
“This was the last that we heard him cry, because the tubes went right past his voice-box, leaving him unable to cry. He wanted to cry from the pain, but he couldn’t make any sound. His eyes were swollen like a toad from crying the past few days.”
Ang and Low cried plenty even though they tried to stay strong.
Things took a turn for the worse when Jed’s chest started bulging. The pneumonia had led to pneumothorax – a collapsed lungs from air leaks into the space between the lung and chest wall.
The bulge was so severe that Jed’s organs were shifted to the left and that the doctors had to insert another tube through his chest to remove the excess air. His blood count plummeted and needed a blood transfusion.
“Almost every other hour, Shannon was crying. And when she cried, I had to hold everything inside of me to stay strong for her. When she finally gets to sleep or stops crying, the thought of Jed just brings tears to my eyes. I felt like I failed him, as a father. I was angry at everything, at the doctors, the nurses, even at God. I felt that He was so unfair for Jed. It was that heart breaking.”
Thankfully, on 14 Aug 2018, things got better. The hole in Jed’s lung has healed and by day 7, he was transferred into the high dependency ward where the air tube was removed as his oxygen levels were stabilising. He was a little hoarse from the tubes but was able to cry again.
Low and Ang was able to hold baby Jed in their arms once more.
On 17 Aug, Jed was discharged from the hospital.
Ang ended his post with warning others about the nanny they hired. He also urged other parents to voice out and not have the nannies to do things the way they want. He thanked the staff at the KK Hospital for saving Jed’s life. He also thanked his families and friends who supported him throughout the tough time.
You can find his blog post here.
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