If you're a new reader of Ella's Story, you can see previous posts with more background information on her health problems here:
Or for a very long story short, here is a brief description of Ella's main chronic health struggles:
Ella was diagnosed with hemiplegic cerebral palsy in 2008 after suffering a stroke in-utero in 2007. She also suffers from epilepsy, thrombosis, dysphagia, developmental delay, speech processing disorder and Pseudohypoaldosteronism. She currently has a naso-gastric feeding tube, and soon will be having a gastrostomy surgery to insert a feeding tube, similar to mine, but into the stomach rather than jejunum. The surgery is currently scheduled for next Wednesday, the 7th of September.
After Ella was born on the 17th of October, 2007, a few days afterward, my friend Dean and I headed over to the Jakas household to see Ella for the first time.
All photos taken with a Nikon D70s and 18-70mm lens, I took the photos of Dean holding Ella, and Dean took some photos of me holding Ella. She was quite small as babies tend to be, with a decent mop of hair for a three day old baby.
At the time we visited, Ella looked so calm and peaceful, spending most of the time sleeping. There weren't really any signs that there was anything wrong with her, she just looked like a normal newborn baby.
At the time, the Jakas family was living in a house at Smithfield, which is a pretty decent drive up from the western suburbs. Dean was storing his Nissan 180SX track car in their backyard, and while we were there, we did a bit of work on it. I can't remember what exactly, but I think it was either wheel or suspension related, maybe both.
The yard was all grass and gravel and not really appropriate for jacking up a car, so Dean moved it into the garage.
After doing a few bits and pieces we went back inside again, and I think there were a couple of people from the hospital doing a bit of cleaning and housework for them. Little did we know just how often Ella would be seeing people from hospitals over the months and years to come.
As you can see below Emily had Ella's room nicely decorated, with the coloured butterflies on the wall, soft toys and hanging mobile.
After staying for a while longer, Dean and I headed back towards home, leaving just after sunset.
Dean was driving his street 180SX at the time which was a very clean and cool machine, but like all performance cars, they're not that economical to drive around as a daily.
Within the next couple of weeks, Ella would be hospitalised for the first time, and unfortunately it wouldn't be the last.
If you're reading this as a parent of young children, Emily is part of a three person team running a small boutique kids' clothing and accessories business called 'Original Mini Moo', along with two other mums. They have 9 children between them; three with special needs of various descriptions, including Ella, and hand-make their merchandise at home when they have a little bit of time to spare.
So if you're after some handmade clothes, toys, hats or rugs for your little ones, and want to support some busy and hard-working mothers, you can browse a selection of items for sale on their Facebook page, just click on the Mini Moo logo or this link: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mini-Moo/189892247687519
You can email them for further information at email@example.com