The Comeback Kid

The surgeons met after the heart challenge that Albie had yesterday and discussed what to do next.  Like a muscle designed to lift weights, a heart does different things without blood flow than with blood flow and they were keen to give it another chance. You see being on ECMO is a big and very serious deal. There are dangers of infections, embolisms, brain bleeds and internal bleeding, so while it has given his heart a chance to rest and recover,  they wanted to get him off it as soon as possible. When they examined his heart yesterday, it was in severe dysfunction but they hoped that with some drugs to help it contract and a proper go with all his blood flow that it might just get the hang of what it was meant to be doing. So it was planned late last night that Albie would go into theatre at 8.30 this morning to try to get Albie’s heart to pump properly, get him off ECMO and close his chest.

After a nervous morning waiting, they have called to let us know that Albie has returned from the theatre and that they were able to get Albie off ECMO! We are allowed to see him soon.

I have jubilation beyond any I have ever felt before.  Our boy has a pulse again! His blood circulates inside his body! His heart is working! That these are things to celebrate is hard for me to believe.  There is no doubt that the ECMO machine saved Albie’s life, but at the same time, seeing your child’s blood leave and then return to their paralysed body is far too much to bear.  The last few days have been painful beyond anything I could ever imagine and I am so grateful they are behind us.

Albie has a very long way to go yet. His lungs are stiff and tired as they haven’t been used for days, his heart is currently beating far too fast, he needs to be weaned from a ventilator, there is still a risk of infection because of the number of interventions in his chest. They are also unsure why he even went into cardiac arrest on Wednesday  at all, so the surgeon has warned us that it is still very much an uphill battle. But, if there is one thing this boy is, its a fighter. And I can sense that Albie is on his way back to us now.

Thank you’s are needed everywhere. And I won’t say them all now and here as we aren’t finished with this journey just yet. But a big thank you at this stage has to go out to Jason, who arrived the day of his arrest, and is leaving tonight. Thank you Jason for keeping everyone in the loop when it was too painful for us to, for sitting vigil wth Albie through the night and for generally keeping our spirits buoyed. You have been our ECMO hero  – and its only fitting that the ECMO machine leaves Albie’s bedside the day you head back home too.

And thank you to each and everyone one of you – you have surrounded and covered our family in love, light, prayers, chants and positive vibes. Keep doing what you are doing. We KNOW it has  made a difference so far.

Have a BEAUTIFUL Sunday everyone. We certainly are.

Love to you all – Sarah, Marcus and Albie xxx


  1. YES!!! YES!!! YES!!!! My children and I (even my 3 year old) sat on his bed tonight and sent up special prayers for Albie!!! I love this progress….slow and steady wins the race….keep moving slow and steady Albie!!!!

  2. Thank you God!!! That is such great news Sarah, so happy for you all and will keep those prayers coming for continued good news and better health and recovery every day xx

  3. You are such an awesome kid Albie. Although that’s no surprise with the amazing parents you have. As Dory says in Finding Nemo “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…” xxxxxxx

  4. WeeeeeeHeeeeeee Such awesome news guys. I have spent much of the last few days sitting in our lounge staring into space, and at your house. Talking about Albie with the girls and sending so so so much love. It obviously found you guys. There is more on the way. So can’t wait to have you all back here. XXX

  5. Thanking GOd! Albie, you keep fighting and we will continue to pray. Mommy and Daddy- hang in there. Be brave.

  6. Oh wow….This is such fantastic news! Thank-you God! Mum and Dad and all of us here are praying for loads more great progress and that Albie stays free of infection. Loads of love to you all xx

  7. That is AWESOME progress Albie!! We are sending all our love and are very much looking forward to seeing you back at HV playcentre (just when you’re ready). You are the strongest wee boy with the most amazing mum and dad…XXXXX

  8. Wonderful news! Thank you for keeping us posted. Sending you lots of love Albie, to keep fighting the good fight and also fight the infection. You are our hero…… Congrats mummy and daddy…such a fantastic day for you….keep positive. Lots of Love from the Andersons in Paraparaumu xxx

  9. Ka mau ke te wehi! Awesome. Still thinking of you guys. I planted some herbs and kale today. I look forward to sharing it with you, Albie xx

  10. Wonderful news. What an amazing little boy he must be! Thinking of you all the time,we cant begin to imagine what you must be going through every day and night. Love Peta and Doug.

  11. That’s brilliant news ! Remember I’m
    Here even if you want some home comforts you can come stay , food , friend, anything ! any friend of Michelle’s is mine too x

  12. I have been following Albies journey daily after seeing a post on facebook via Nicole. Our prayers have been with you throughout. I have been away from the computer for a couple of days, returning home I was onto the blog straight away and was thrilled to hear the news. We continue to send positive thoughts and prayers to you all.

  13. Thats wonderful news, keep fighting Albie-know you can do it wee man. Still thinking & praying for you & your family xxx

  14. It was so good to speak to you this morning- I am so relieved to read your update- what a little fighter!!! Same rules apply- please ask if you need anything at this end. Lots and lots of love Jane and the Bowler boys XXXXXXXXX

  15. Hey guys we are thinking of you
    And praying for albie and more good news Harry has recorded a video message , it only took 10 takes !

    Mum hasn’t worked out how to post comments yet so I will show her tomorrow

  16. Big high fives to Albie, Sarah and Marcus – what a team you are, just amazing. I’m sure that if we all listened carefully we would be able to hear that little heart beating all around the world tonight. kia kaha to team Hopkinson, much love from your Kelso team in Gisborne. Sharon

  17. Got home 1 hour ago from church and as went to bed decided to check the blog. Absolutely delighted to see the news Praise God . will keep praying for you all . love Janice Mannex

  18. Oh yes. (big exhale of breath) That’s so great… what a fighter, what an amazing little guy!
    Still a wee way to go, but to have gotten through this weekend it feels as if he has everything it takes to go all the way now. Go Albie, you can can do it!
    And you too Sarah, you and Marcus’s courage and strength to have gotten through this weekend (on top of everything else!) is amazing. I’m sure he senses that, and the support of everyone around him, to help him keep pushing through.

  19. Oh wow what a true wee hero Albie is – such fabulous news!! He is an amazing fighter. Thinking of you all so much. Sending lots of hugs and prayers, xoxox

  20. Wonderful wonderful news. I read this in the middle of the night then had to check again this morning that I hadn’t dreamt it. Albie is an inspiration. Can’t wait to meet him one day. Cant imagine how hard this must all be for you guys, but you’re doing so well. Lots of love from sunny Edinburgh – its shining for Albie today! X x x

  21. Yes, yes, yessss! Well done all of you, and keep it up. Looking forward to seeing the all new and improved Albie. 🙂
    And we’re keeping up sending good vibes and healing, for as long as it’s wanted.

  22. Wow the power of prayer hey… Albie is obviously feisty and determined just like his daddy ( yes Marcus I remember how much u enjoyed our team taught pe lessons) !!! Promotion from ecmo to a vent is great news… It’s news like this that makes me love children’s nursing…, our love from southport xxxx

  23. Brilliant news, so glad there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even though we can´t be there with you we are in spirit and are doing all we can to try and wish Albie back to health. When we were in Oz just after your wonderful wedding, (which was a total accident itself as we should have only had 2 days but ended up with an extra 10 after the ash cloud fiasco) we met a lady on Bondi Beach who asked us to write a message in the sand. She explained that if you sent out a wish or a message to the universe it would be answered or your wish granted, when the message was swept away by the waves, so before we left Finisterre we wrote a message in the sand asking for Albie to get well soon; we are optomistic that the universe is answering that wish! We also lit a candle for Albie in Santiago cathedral yesterday and again, are sending you and Albie all our love and good thoughts xxx

  24. We’ve been away for the weekend (without internet access) and I shed a couple of tears when reading this post . . . WAY TO GO ALBIE ! ! !
    Truely AWESOME news, a reflection of your beautiful lil character & inner strength, such a brave lil man ! ! !
    LOADS of love, hugs & kisses to you and your Mummy & Daddy from us and a MASSIVE THANKS to the ‘ECMO Hero’ for keeping us all in the loop xxx

  25. So happy to hear this fantastic news. Have been thinking of you guys HEAPS. Keep fighting Albie you are a little champion! xxx

  26. Ive been reading your updates thinking of you all – so fantastic to read your post from yesterday. Kia kaha Albie!!

  27. So glad that Albie is such a fighter and is doing so well now. All the Hamilton Browns are thinking of you and sending love and strength to you guys.

  28. So glad to hear this! I’ve been out of town and out of internet range all weekend, but I thought of you all constantly. Keep up the good fight Albie!

  29. Oh my goodness, I have been thinking of you all especially Albie. GO Albie get stronger every day. Much love and warm wishes to you all, Anna xxx p.s will send some Cornish sunshine, when its out!

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