TEEN’S SUPER VIRUS COMA
Mysterious bug leaves 13-year-old Newcomb girl fighting for life
A NEWCOMB teenager is fighting for life after contracting a devastating supervirus that has severely damaged her heart muscles and left her on life-support.
She has been in an induced coma for 22 days.
Taylor Henry, 13, was enjoying her summer holidays when she was struck down with an unknown virus.
The Newcomb Secondary College pupil started vomiting continuously on January 22 and was referred to the Geelong hospital emergency department where doctors tried to stabilise the usually fit and healthy teenager.
However, her condition quickly deteriorated.
That night Taylor was transferred by ambulance to the Royal Children’s Hospital and placed in an induced coma.
Doctors determined a rare and unknown virus had caused significant inflammation and damage to Taylor’s heart muscles.
The basketball player and trampoline lover was diagnosed with severe myocarditis and has undergone three ninehour open-heart surgeries to strengthen and repair her heart.
Her heart and lungs are not working on their own and the virus is threatening other organs.
Aunt Judy Frischot said her niece remained on life-support and had been on dialysis to clear her kidneys.
“The doctors say this is the most severe case (of myocarditis) they have seen,” Ms Frischot said.
“She has had (three) openheart surgeries and they installed a ventricular assist device (VAD).”
Ms Frischot said the VAD had not been working effectively at this stage, resulting in more heart surgeries.
“The virus has made the immune system attack the heart,” Ms Frischot said.
Doctors are working around the clock to give Tay- lor the best chance of survival. If she makes it past this challenging period a heart transplant is believed to be Taylor’s best chance at living a normal life.
Ms Frischot said the family was still in disbelief that bright, bubbly Taylor was fighting for her life.
“She’s an angel. She’s so helpful, and super fit. She’s a really great kid,” Ms Frischot said.
“In the holidays she had a month pass to Aerodrome (trampoline park). She was there every day.
“She loves arts and she plays basketball.”
Taylor is the second eldest of five children and Ms Frischot said the family of seven was struggling.
“Her parents are just a mess,” Ms Frischot said. “It’s basically just one baby step forward and then three back at the moment. There have been times when she’s been flatlined and doctors have had to shock her back to life.”
But the family is hopeful Taylor’s fighting spirit will help her to recover.
Taylor’s classmates, including best friend and cousin Amelia, have started a fundraising campaign at Newcomb Secondary College to raise money for Taylor’s medical care and her parents at this devastating time.
Year 12 student TaylaJayne Berry-Coon, 17, is organising a Team Taylor day for March 6.
“Taylor is such an amazing girl ... as a community we are trying to come together and wrap our arms around her,” Tayla-Jayne said.
Students will wear purple, one of Taylor’s favourite colours, on March 6 and buy raffle tickets to support the family’s cause.
A separate GoFundMe page — PrayForTaylor has been set up by Taylor’s aunt Maryanne Cleasby.
Newcomb teenager Taylor Henry.
TEAM TAYLOR: Dad Mark Henry, mum Paula and Taylor’s siblings, Montana Riley, Lachlan and Charlie.