Kiara had to fight to stay alive 2018-02-06T15:21:19+00:00

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Meet Kiara 

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Kiara is only two-years-old, but she has already had to fight to stay alive. Due to Viral Pneumonia she stopped breathing when she was three months old. She was rushed from Somerset Hospital to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, where she spent 172 days in the paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This severe lung infection has resulted in her having residual Chronic Lung Disease. The doctors and nurses at the Hospital did not think her tiny body would cope with the disease, but they made sure that she could breathe and swallow by giving her oxygen as well as a tracheostomy and gastrostomy.

Kiara became part of the Breatheasy Programme, run by Sister Jane Booth, and was moved into the E1 Ward of the Hospital after ICU. A few weeks later she was weaned off the ventilator and her tracheostomy was removed and she was able to go home without needing breathing assistance – a day that many did not think would come.

In December 2015, Kiara was struggling to breathe and was suffering from Viral Croup cough while at home with her family. She returned to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where she once again needed the assistance of a tracheostomy. Her mom, Siphathisiwe, says, “I was very worried about her but the nurses are very good and helpful.”

Sister Booth says that it’s the team behind the Breatheasy Programme that ensure patients like Kiara recover and are given the best possible chance at a childhood.

After a month at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Kiara was well enough to return home with her mom. While she still needs a gastrostomy to help her feeding and the tracheostomy until the swelling from the croup subsides, she is running around like a playful, energetic and healthy child. Her granny is coming to look after her while her mom works.

The Children's Hospital Trust Mother & Child Burn

Kiara became part of the Breatheasy Programme, run by Sister Jane Booth, and was moved into the E1 Ward of the Hospital after ICU.

, Kiara was struggling to breathe and was suffering from Viral Croup cough while at home with her family.

Kiara is only two-years-old, but she has already had to fight to stay alive.

Meet Kiara 

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fter Isabella was born at Victoria Hospital, doctors discovered that she suffered from what is called “leaky kidneys”. Professor Mignon McCulloch, a paediatric kidney doctor and intensive care specialist at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital explains that Isabella’s kidneys leak protein so they become swollen. This can be dangerous for her health and her growth.

The Grassy Park family have been in and out of the Hospital since Isabella was just two months old. The toddler had to have one of her kidneys removed so that her condition would not affect her growth. When she is not in the isolation unit in the renal ward, Isabella is in the paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU). She also has to undergo regular dialysis, a procedure that purifies the blood to compensate for the kidney’s inability to function. Despite all of this, Isabella has an infectious smile and a cheerful disposition that doesn’t reveal any of the discomfort or pain she experiences on a daily basis.

Chantal, who sleeps with her daughter in the isolation unit in the renal ward and never leaves her side, says it’s very hard when her daughter is in the ICU. “When she is in intensive care, I can’t sleep next to her because the babies need to be near equipment and monitors. I know that she is being looked after, but I prefer it when I can be with her constantly.” A devoted mom, who just wants to see her little girl lead a healthy childhood, she barely takes her eyes off her daughter. She can interpret every movement, every look and every sound, living her child’s experience with her.

Chantal is currently undergoing a myriad of tests to see if she will be a viable donor so that she can give her beautiful little girl a healthy kidney. This is a long and tiring process, but Chantal isn’t interested in complaining. She is a mother who will fight for the health of her child.

“I will do whatever I need to do so that she gets better.”

With her other children being cared for by her sister, it’s now a waiting game that Chantal has no choice but to play.

Some days in the Hospital are easy and Isabella is bright, cheerful and eats all of her food. Sometimes the days are tough and Isabella is in pain, tired and refuses to eat. For Chantal, it’s what being a mother is all about.

Professor McCulloch says, “Isabella is such a lovely baby with great parents. Unfortunately she suffers from an extremely difficult condition and is the kind of patient who can only be cared for by the team work of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital where there is a large team of kidney experts consisting of doctors, nurses, dietitians and other specialist staff.”

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