Just when we thought we'd seen the back of rare conditions that require us to spend time at the Townsville hospital, Harry managed to come up with a new one… neutropenia, its not quite as rare as NH but getting there.
In one of his routine checks (following the NH treatment that Mary had) the Doctor picked up he had a low white blood cell count, or to be exact a low neutrophil count (400 thousand cells/uL). A follow-up check showed that these cells were droping (200 thousand cells/uL). If like us, you were wondering what neutrophils do, check out this little video which shows a neutrophil chasing a bacterium (the neutrophil is the larger blob like thing) – they're an important first line of defence in the immune system.
His count was low enough to put him at a severe risk of infection, so the small sore on his leg was reason enought to be off to hospital in an isolation room with intraveneous antibiotics on Thursday night. We were out again on Saturday afternoon, the doctors being satisfied that the required antibiotics could be administered orally at home.
At this stage we're not sure of the long term prognosis, this could be something that goes away in a few weeks or months, or it could be something that's more chronic. Either way it's something we could have done without, but for the moment the good news is that Harry's happy, and pretty much oblivious to all this – as you'll see in the other photos we took at the hospital. (Harry is a very happy and simply fabulous, wonderful little boy. But you all know that – Mary).