At 12 days old baby Mia started to have seizures and after 3 months of living in hospital underwent an 8.5 hour surgery on her brain. Mia was the youngest child in NZ to have this type of surgery. Unfortunately days later the seizures resumed and Mia had to have another operation at 11 months. Her mobility would be significantly impacted and there were concerns she may not be able to speak.
Shortly after Mia’s first birthday we met the wonderful team at the Brain Injured Children’s Trust. It is hard to show our gratitude to the Trust and all the incredibly generous donors for they really have changed Mia’s life.
This is how:
The Health Board provided limited time with a graduate physiotherapist. Months went by when we didn’t see anyone. Mia had many challenges in addition to the physical challenges including excessive drooling, trouble with eating and she couldn’t communicate. A big concern was that she had no awareness of her right side and that she would never use her right hand. We had to get private and experienced input from a physiotherapist, an occupation therapist and a speech therapist. We sought out the most relevant experts including an incredible upper limb therapist based in Melbourne, Dr. Bryan Hoare.
We embarked on a daily programme of intensive therapy with Mia where her Dad (in the morning before work) and Mum during the day worked with her on mobility exercises, targeted upper limb activities and communication skills. It was hard work and tough to push your child when they wouldn’t and didn’t think they could do it.
The hard work eventually paid off and at 2.6 years Mia started to walk. At 3 she started to talk and remarkably today at 5 years of age she can use her impacted hand as a supporting hand when needed.
Mia is a happy, gentle natured little girl with a passion for music (Paul Simon and Queen are her favourites), books and the outdoors. It is a joy to be with her and to marvel at what she has overcome.
We could never have managed to give Mia the support she needed without the significant contributions from BICT during Mia’s critical developmental years. It is heart-sore having a child with health challenges but the journey with BICT has empowered us to give Mia the support she needs to live her life to the fullest.
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