Monty Bastiaens whose Dad serves in the Royal Navy, has been awarded Little Trooper of the month for his bravery and resilience.
Monty was born in Yeovil district hospital whilst his dad was working at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton. At 5 days old Monty suffered a significant seizure and was rushed to A&E in Yeovil. After initial life saving intervention a spontaneous infra cranial haemorrhage was discovered on his brain and he was moved to Bristol Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. However, after admission they were unable to stabilise his brain injury, so he was moved to Frenchay neurological unit. As a new born they were unable to offer support and he was moved to Southmead Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where Monty remained in a coma for several weeks. He underwent an operation on his brain at Frenchay as an outpatient and remained in NICU for a while longer. On discharge from hospital some 3 months later, Monty was blind and his parents were told he would have a number of physical developmental issues due to the brain injury which would be a lifelong issue. However, his sight began to return at 5 months old, and by the time he was 2 years old, he had met all of his physical developmental milestones.
This is where the family’s military lifestyle began to have an impact on the continuity of care. After multiple moves, including a family deployment overseas, Monty’s medical care and access to services was severely impacted. At 4 years old, whilst overseas in Asia, Monty started to suffer with severe epilepsy in relation to his previous brain injury. This resulted in a number of admissions to A&E in life threatening conditions and has resulted in cognitive and educational challenges, which have been further impacted when having to move location.
Despite Monty having undergone a number of medical procedures, coping with significant side effects of medication and having his medical and educational care teams changed frequently, Monty has remained a brave little boy and has shown excellent resilience to adapt to his medical condition and the life of a military family.
Monty’s Dad told us “In the face of all of the set backs and challenges faced, Monty remains a loving little trooper, who loves to put his family and friends first and shows a huge amount of compassion.”
Louise Fetigan ,founder of Little Troopers, said: “Monty has been so brave throughout his childhood and his story really demonstrates some of the more acute ways that military life can impact military children. We are delighted to award him ‘Little Trooper of the Month’ and we hope that he wears his medal with pride. Monty, you really are a little trooper!”
This months Little Trooper of the month award has kindly been sponsored by Amazon.