6 year old Kayla White was born at just 33 weeks with fluid in her chest cavity meaning her lungs could not grow. Kayla and her mother, Angela, spent 135 in Wellington Hospital before returning home to Nelson.
Kayla has a list of acute respiratory problems, all of which can be set off by a common cold – Her mother Angela says, “When someone says ‘it’s just a cold’, I want to say it’s not just a cold for Kayla.”
“Spring is the worst time. Colds go straight to her chest and when she coughs she can’t breathe. That’s when it’s dangerous.”, Angela says. When Kayla is unwell, respiratory physio includes blowing bubbles through a straw.
Until recently, Kayla has had to be tube fed through a hole in her stomach to help her put on weight. This means Kayla and her family have to be extra tough about bugs, as she doesn’t have the feeding tube to rly on for weight. There is also a risk to further lung damage if she is still aspirating.
Angela says Kayla had been through a lot and coped with it all incredibly well. But despite Kayla’s condition she did not qualify for funding and coping day to day was tough.
After paying her rent White was left with on $200 to cater to her two children. She could not get work as she has to often drop everything to look after Kayla. If Lukas, 3, gets sick then he has to be isolated. If White gets sick she has to send Kayla to her mother’s place.
“I put on a good face and say I’m alright but sometimes I’m not alright. I just want awareness.”
As for Kayla, White hopes that she continues living as all six-year-old girls should.
“I want her to live a normal life and not be scared.”
Follow Kayla’s progress Facebook.
Content provided by Stuff and Angela White.