STRETCH, Troy Kelby :
Written by his mother (Colleen Flemmer) August 2015:
Troy was born on the 31 May 2004 in East London South Africa at the Mater Dei Hospital to Colleen Flemmer (mother) and David Stretch (father). At 6 weeks old I left SA with Troy to join up with David Stretch (Troy's dad) who had started a job in St Petersburg, Russia. The first 3 months of Troy's life was spent strapped to my front visiting all the most amazing tourist sights in and around St Petersburg. Luckily the contract to move to Siberia was cancelled and we were repatriated to New Zealand to await the next posting. A couple of months in NZ and we headed to Bunbury , Western Australia where we remained for 3 years. It was while we were here that Troy started showing terrible signs of illness, failure to thrive and chronic malnutritian.
After months of testing for everything under the sun I flew home to SA to see the family and on route he became incredible dehydrated from diarhhea. Rushing him straight to the paediatrician and onto hospital, he was diagnosed with Crohns disease. On return to Australia the arrogant doctor refused to believe the diagnoses and said they'd make their own assumptions, taking more bloods and a few months of testing, only to come to the same conclusion. Rushed to hospital as Troy was at this stage incredibly frail and clearly in lots of pain we started the journey of "life in hospital". He is now 11 years old and looks incredibly well, although the past 10 years have been hell for him. enduring countless surgeries, endless infusions and horrid medications, needles, and many many many months spent in a hospital bed and suffering horrid pain.
Last year 2014, he had his entire colon removed which was totally munted and non functioning. He now lives with a colostomy bag, peg site to feed him liquid nutrition and is down to only one medication daily. No more infusions, touch wood - no more infections, hardly any more trips to the hospital, just checkups and lots of immune boosters. He has grown more than12cm in the last year which is massive and he has filled out. He grows stronger by the day - finally learning things like climbing, crawling, jumping, running - all things he never did as a child growing up. Unfortunately the long term use of steroids in the first 4 years of his life to manage the Crohns has stunted not only his growth but his development so he struggles at school. However he is getting lots of outside help and it's all paying off.
He is a beautiful child with a bubbly happy disposition and well liked. He is passionate about computers, mainly MINDCRAFT and POKEMON. he has a fascination for fossils and gems stones.
He has just been invited to be an ambassador for CureKids (a group who fundraise on a large scale for research to find cures for modern day illnesses amongst kids). A wonderful opportunity for us to spread the awareness of Crohns disease.