Shed­ding light on Mar­ley’s CDH bat­tle

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - BET­TINA WAR­BUR­TON

KIR­WAN mum Mikayla Lythgo knows the an­guish of be­ing told her child may not sur­vive.

Ms Lythgo’s daugh­ter Mar­ley Jayne was born with con­gen­i­tal di­aphrag­matic her­nia and given less than 10 per cent chance of sur­vival.

At birth, Mar­ley’s bow­els were in her chest, com­pro­mis­ing her lungs.

Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing surgery on her di­aphragm, Mar­ley was sent to Bris­bane for heart surgery.

Af­ter three months away from home, the fam­ily re­turned to Townsville and spent more time in hos­pi­tal only to have their worst fears re­alised on Mar­ley’s 100th day. Mar­ley had re- her­ni­ated and was rushed back into surgery.

“For the third time in six months, I was told to say good­bye to my daugh­ter,” Ms Lythgo said. “It is be­yond heart­break­ing. Noth­ing pre­pares you for that.”

Af­ter a few weeks, Mar­ley re­cov­ered enough go home with the help of oxy­gen and a feed but­ton sur­gi­cally im­planted in her stom­ach.

Due to this type of feed­ing, Mar­ley had to be taught how to eat when she was 2 ½ years old.

Sev­eral more surg­eries and long hospi­tals stays were en­dured by Mar­ley in the years to come.

Mar­ley is now eight and in Year 3 at Wil­lows State School.

“Although Mar­ley will re­quire more surgery, as there is no cure for CDH, we couldn’t be prouder,” says Ms Lythgo said.

“We try not to let CDH af­fect her day- to- day life.

“She is de­scribed as a tick­ing time- bomb that may never go off.

“We have to re­main vig­i­lant and not to be­come com­pla­cent but at the same time not let it af­fect our lives.”

Ms Lythgo is shar­ing her fam­ily’s story to raise aware­ness of this deadly birth con­di­tion.

CDH Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Tara Gallo said half of the ba­bies born with CDH didn’t go home with their par­ents.

“Each week, two fam­i­lies will be told their child has CDH,” she said. “This is a scary di­ag­no­sis for a fam­ily to re­ceive. The con­di­tion can be life- threat­en­ing and cause on­go­ing com­pli­ca­tions.”

Townsville will host a CDH Sun­flower Sun­day event and aware­ness to­mor­row along The Strand be­tween 9am and 11am.

The walk will con­clude with a beau­ti­ful bub­ble cer­e­mony fol­lowed by a fam­ily pic­nic and kids’ cir­cus lessons hosted by lo­cal youth arts group, La Luna.

Reg­is­ter www. cdh. org. au for free

BORN SUR­VIVORS: Mikayla Lythgo and Jeff Maurice with their daugh­ter Mar­ley, 8. Mar­ley was born with the life- threat­en­ing con­di­tion CDH, which has al­ready led to sev­eral emer­gency surg­eries. Pic­ture: ALIX SWEENEY

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.