Mother’s good­bye to baby girl Is­abella


Lisa Dowd al­ways knew her time with her daugh­ter was lim­ited.

But she thought she’d have more.

Her 19-month-old Is­abella died on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 27, af­ter an on­go­ing bat­tle with Noo­nan syn­drome, a ge­netic con­di­tion that af­fected Is­abella’s heart and growth from birth.

‘‘Ev­ery­day was so spe­cial with her,’’ Lisa said.

‘‘There’s been a lot of grief for a long time know­ing we wouldn’t have a lot of time with her, but I still be­lieved we would have more than we did.’’

She’d re­cently re­turned home af­ter a long stint in hospi­tal, Lisa said.

‘‘She got through the win­ter with­out get­ting sick, even though her broth­ers both got colds.

‘‘But, the seizures have con­tin­ued to be a prob­lem and we’ve been un­able to get her to grow.’’

On Thurs­day, Septem­ber 21, Is­abella had trou­ble breath­ing af­ter hav­ing mul­ti­ple seizures dur­ing the night, Lisa said.

‘‘Usu­ally when she’s had seizures I turn her oxy­gen up a bit but this time I ended up hav­ing to turn it up a lot more and she was still strug­gling.

‘‘She ended up with a re­ally high tem­per­a­ture, so I knew some­thing was wrong.’’

Is­abella was taken to Waikato Hospi­tal by am­bu­lance the next morn­ing.

She started as­pi­rat­ing, which turned to as­pi­ra­tion pneu­mo­nia, Lisa said.

On the Mon­day Is­abella was trans­ferred to Hos­pice.

‘‘The last cou­ple of days she wasn’t re­ally very con­scious.

‘‘When she would open her eyes she wasn’t able to fo­cus, she was re­ally pale. Her body was re­ally tired and she was strug­gling to keep con­trol of her seizures.

‘‘It was too much for her to get through this time.’’

At 11pm on Wed­nes­day, Sept- ember 27, Lisa felt her baby slip away.

‘‘I knew be­fore­hand. She was cud­dled into my chest and I told her it was okay.

‘‘I don’t think any par­ent wants to ever go through that.’’

Is­abella was farewelled at Moun­tain View Church, Te Aroha, on Satur­day, Septem­ber 30. A lot of guests were sick chil­dren and par­ents of chil­dren who have died and were in Hos­pice with Is­abella.

The ser­vice was fol­lowed by a burial at the Te Aroha Ceme­tery, where her broth­ers let pink bal­loons go.

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