Mum's 'mystery' health decline means she can't cuddle her baby

Photo: Givealittle
Photo: Givealittle 

A new mum is so unwell that she has lost the ability to communicate and isn't able to cuddle her baby.

Auckland woman Jazmin Hunter was diagnosed with hydrocephalus – a condition where fluid builds up in the brain – at the age of 13, her mum Barbara Hunter said.

A line was put into her brain to drain the fluid and release pressure, but over the years she has been in and out of hospital with complications.

A few years ago, a shunt was put into her brain after the line failed. But shunt failures continued and she ended up in hospital in August.

While in hospital, 25-year-old Jazmin found out she was pregnant, with a due date of March 31.

Ms Hunter had a healthy pregnancy up until the beginning of 2020.

Barbara Hunter said her daughter was sleeping a lot, lethargic and wouldn't wake to eat.

She was admitted to Auckland City Hospital, but her health deteriorated as the weeks went by.

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied


Barbara Hunter said her daughter underwent three operations on her brain as well as numerous MRIs, EEGs and blood tests, but surgeons couldn't determine what the problem was.

Jazmin started to lose her speech, ability to chew and body movement and needed "pretty much 24-hour care".

When Jazmin was 33 weeks pregnant, surgeons decided the best option was to deliver her baby.

Her son Theo was born via caesarean on February 14.

Photo: supplied

Photo: supplied

"She couldn't even hold her baby, they had to bring baby in to have skin-on-skin contact," her mum said.

Jazmin was now starting to know Theo was there and trying to cuddle him as best she could.

But her decline in health remains a mystery with doctors continuing to observe her, her mum said.

"We're just waiting to see if she's going to come out of this."

Although "tiny" and in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, Barbara Hunter said Theo was doing well.

But Jazmin's condition had "devastated" her and she just wanted her daughter well again.

"I want to walk out of here with her and baby."

Barbara Hunter has had to resign from her job in order to care for her daughter and grandson, but it will be waiting for her when she is able to go back.

She said the same had happened with Jazmin's job as a legal secretary, and her boss had set up a Givealittle page to help support them with finances while the two are in hospital and during recovery.

Barbara Hunter said Jazmin was the "life of the office" and usually full of life.

Photo: supplied

Jazmin Hunter, in the white shirt and black jacket, with family including mum Barbara Hunter, second from left. Photo: supplied