Born a healthy, happy child, McKenzie lived at home with mum Amy and sister Paige. Then, in September 2016, a stubborn ear infection developed into something much more severe. His heart rate rose, his breathing became laboured and he developed jitters; eventually losing control of every muscle in his body.
After being rushed to hospital where he underwent numerous tests, it was found that Enterovirus D68 had caused McKenzie to develop Acute Flaccid Paralysis. He was kept in isolation, away from his granddad and Paige, who missed her little brother.
It was 6 weeks until mum Amy was allowed to hold her son again.
“The hardest thing was to see him hooked up to all that equipment. I was sort of numb through it all, just in shock”
By Christmas 2016, McKenzie was still not well enough to be at home with the rest of his family; Paige spent Christmas day with her granddad as her mum and brother were stuck in hospital. It would be a whole year before McKenzie was able to come home and the family reunited.
Our Nurses Linda and Laurie meet McKenzie
WellChild nurses Linda and Laurie were introduced to Amy and McKenzie soon after that first Christmas in hospital in 2016.
McKenzie was fitted with a tracheotomy to help him breathe, but Amy found this new and invasive medical equipment hard to get her head around. The prospect of having to manage it alone, or having to deal with emergency situations was terrifying.
So Linda gave McKenzie’s granddad and Amy in-depth practical training on using, monitoring and maintaining the equipment McKenzie needs: “she put us through lots of practice, making us do things like an emergency trache change as she looked on, to give us confidence for the times when it would be just me and McKenzie”
Support WellChild this Christmas to help our Nurses give parents like Amy the confidence to care for their child safely at home.
"Knowing that Linda had checked everything was in place at home, trained McKenzie’s carers and that she and Laurie were on the end of the phone, really helped take away the fear that we had on coming home. Confidence was a massive thing for me."
– Amy, McKenzie’s mum
Christmas at home
With our help, McKenzie was discharged from hospital in time for Christmas 2017. Amy pulled out all the stops to give McKenzie and Paige a wonderful day together, surrounded by the whole family.
Please consider giving to WellChild this Christmas, to help give more families the confidence to care for their child safely at home, allowing them to spend the festive period together.