Kate was born in 2009 and for the first year of her life she thrived. Around her first birthday she began to have bouts of sickness and diarrhoea which lasted for weeks at a time. She lost weight, lost her energy and became a sleepy, pale child. Kate had multiple tests for allergies and other illnesses but with no success.
Then, at Christmas 2011, she had a tumble from her tricycle and bumped her head. She began vomiting and so we took her to the hospital to have her checked over. There we met a wonderful paediatrician who thoroughly examined Kate, took bloods and realised that there was a complication with her blood that needed exploration. She referred Kate to GOSH and she began about a year of examinations, tests and procedures.
The diagnosis came later in 2012 of common variable immunodeficiency, which means that Kate can’t produce the antibodies that fight illness and infection. We then understood why any bacteria had made her so poorly for those early years.
Her treatment is a three weekly infusion of antibodies to ensure that she has enough antibodies to keep her well until the next infusion. This is done through an IV drip in hospital and takes about four hours.
Since having her infusions, Kate has bounced back to a brave, energetic child who has decided that one day she might like to be a paramedic to help others! She’s fabulous with her cannulas and treatment and takes it all in her stride.