Northland Hospital Appeal
Twelve-week old Taonga Peita is a very precious child who has a range of medical complications.
He spent two and a half weeks in Whangarei Hospital’s Specialist Care Baby Unit after he was born prematurely on May 16 and continues to rely upon oxygen 24/7.
Taonga is the Northland face of the 2017 Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal.
His mother, Miranda Shackell, a special needs co-ordinator at Whangarei Boys High School, says she and her partner had been informed there was a high risk that Taonga might have Down Syndrome.
So it was not a surprise when the diagnosis was confirmed.
Taonga also had transient myeloproliferative disorder which can sometimes lead to myeloid leukaemia disorders in babies with Down Syndrome, and he also has a small hole in his heart.
‘‘I felt like I was hit by a bus... you hear leukaemia and you see a coffin,’’ says Miranda.
Over 7500 children and babies are admitted to one of the four Northland hospitals each year.
Funds raised by the Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal help Northland District Health Board Maternal and Child Health Services afford items on a ‘wish list.’
This year’s Countdown Kids Hospital Appeal runs from August 7 – October 29.