Port Colborne family struggling by their newborn's side


August 29, 2011

PORT COLBORNE -- Brandon Hutchinson and his wife Barb have been sleeping in their van in Toronto because they can't afford a hotel room and Ronald McDonald House at capacity.
"Right now we need to be here with our son, it's very financially hard," Brandon Hutchinson said.

The Port Colborne family thought August 19 would a day to celebrate the arrival of their newborn son, Johnathan Jack James Hutchinson, but at 5:20 a.m. when he came into this world weighing just under seven pounds something was wrong.

Johnathan had trouble breathing because there was fluid in his lungs, and his heartbeat was erratic. Four hours after he was born he was transferred to McMaster Children's Hospital.

Johnathan's condition worsened and he was transferred to Toronto Hospital for Sick Children on Monday, where his parents have been ever since.

The doctors believe a valve in Johnathan's heart was only allowing blood to flow in one direction, making blood pool on his lungs and other organs, although his grandmother.

Johnathan underwent surgery on Thursday to open the valve properly, but doctors were unsure Friday if the operation was successful.

"It's terribly emotionally hard, we have a newborn son and we can't hold him. He was rushed away to have heart surgery, it takes a toll on you"

The couple, who have two other children in Port Colborne being cared for by Brandon Hutchinson's mother, Judy Pirson, and close friends have not been home since Johnathan was born.

"My wife and I aren't eating. The fact that you're talking to one doctor and he says one thing and another says another, we've seen so many doctors and heard so many different stories. It's also very stressful not being able to see my other two children at home," Brandon Hutchinson said.

The couple is pleading for the community to help them pay for accommodations, food and other expenses to stay at their son's side.

"My son is what you would call a macho boy and he broke down and started crying on the phone and that tore my heart apart," Pirson said about the family ordeal. "I haven't heard him cry since he was a child."