For the most part, Addison was a normal and healthy child.
When Addison was four, she had what we (and her doctor) thought was a bad cold or flu. She continued running high temperature and had aching bones but the doctors still thought it was nothing sinister. She was taken back to the doctor multiple times over the next five to six days and then finally, we thought she was on the mend.
However, that night while getting her ready for bed we noticed a large bruise on her side. She had not moved off the couch much over the past few days so we knew she could not have bumped herself. We took her to our local hospital as a precaution and from there, things deteriorated rapidly. They initially thought she had leukaemia and was put in isolation awaiting hospital transfer, however, while we were waiting, they discovered that she had staphylococcal (staph) septicaemia.
For those that don’t know much about staph, it can be found in parts of your skin and nostrils. It’s more common than you’d think, with about one third of healthy people carrying staph somewhere on their bodies. It can cause minor skin infections such as boils or abscesses, but if it gets into your bloodstream it wreaks havoc, and is fatal in many cases.
Unfortunately, the infection was in Addison’s bloodstream and had reached her heart, lungs and some of her joints. After the initial relief that leukaemia had been ruled out, we were shocked to learn that she was at a high risk of heart failure.
From there, it was a roller coaster of ups and downs as she fought for her life. She was put on continuous IV antibiotics, high doses of pain relief, oxygen, and a feeding tube as she tried to fight off the infection. Every day she was assessed for what surgery she would need to get on top of the complications of the infection.
We spent two months in the hospital. During this time, Addison had two surgeries on her right shoulder and lungs, one surgery on her left shoulder, and dealt with the discomfort and pain of needles, chest drains and blood transfusions.
Fortunately for us, she is a little fighter. She won the battle and got rid of the infection from her body. Unfortunately, the infection left permanent damage to her heart. She is regularly monitored by doctors to ensure the growth plates in her shoulders have not been affected by the surgeries she’s had.”
Kyla, Addison’s mum
Effective antibiotics saved Addison’s life. But, in a world of increasing antibiotic resistance, doctors won’t have the treatments needed to save lives like Addison’s. Which is why we need your help.