A sick Auckland toddler is being flown to the United Kingdom to undergo an intestinal transplant that could save her life.
Three-year-old Madison Merrick has spent most of her life in Auckland’s Starship Hospital suffering from a severe form of Gastroschisis, a condition that causes her intestines to grow outside her abdomen.
Next week, Madison will be flown to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where she will receive an intestinal transplant courtesy of the Government’s high cost treatment pool, a $2.5 million annual fund to help New Zealand patients seek treatment overseas.
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Starship Paediatric Gastroenterologist Stephen Mouat said the transplant was Madison’s only chance of survival.
“Madison has quite intensive damage to her intestine, and what she has left doesn’t work very well.
“She’s been maintained with food into the vein (intravenous nutrition). That is, unfortunately, not something we can maintain for any length of time,” Mouat said.
The toddler’s mother, Alana Merrick, said she was incredibly grateful for the opportunity given to her daughter.
“There’s hope at the end of the tunnel now, it’s like life is right in front of us.”
Mouat said the team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital was excellent.
“They have had a world class outcome with this (transplant).”
Find out more about Madison’s condition and the appeal to cover her expenses at www.madisonmerrick.org.nz