For most parents, witnessing their baby’s first steps is a moment of great excitement. But when Claudine and Dave Fitzgibbon’s son Harvey first walked, their dominant emotion was relief.
In August 2016, a team of medical specialists at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane performed groundbreaking surgery on Harvey while he was still in the womb to correct a defect caused by spina bifida.
His parents were told Harvey might never be able to walk.
Now, more than a year and a half since the risky operation, and a year since Australian Story first met the couple, they are quietly watching their happy little boy meet milestones. “As he progressed, it was like tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick,” Dave says. “Bowel, bladder, brain, ventricles, legs, feet, muscle tone, so it was just a huge amount of relief.”
Harvey took his first steps in March, a few months after his first birthday.