Newborn’s dangerous weight loss
Shortly after their daughter Mia was born, Danielle and Greg began to sense that something was wrong. The Hamilton couple grew increasingly concerned about Mia’s weight loss and unusually frequent bowel movements.
“Mia began losing weight after a few weeks,” says Danielle. “In April 2018, we drove to McMaster Children’s Hospital (MCH), where Mia was admitted to the Pediatric Medicine Unit.”
Danielle and Greg were shocked to learn that their baby was under-nourished. Mia had a series of tests, bloodwork and consultations to determine the cause of her rapid weight loss.
“Mia kept losing weight as her care teams attempted to identify a diagnosis,” says Greg. “At a time when we should have been panicking, Mia’s care team was so calm and kind, ensuring that we weren’t overwhelmed.”
With her weight dropping daily, Mia was sent to the operating room to have an intravenous (IV) line inserted. Since Mia was not tolerating over-the-counter formulas, her care team worked with pharmacies across the province to source a special ingredient that would help Mia’s system absorb nutrients.
“At a time when we should have been panicking, Mia’s care team was so calm and kind, ensuring that we weren’t overwhelmed.”
She was eventually diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The condition causes ulcers to form in Mia’s digestive tract, resulting in frequent abdominal pain. Although it is a life-long condition, it can be managed with daily medication that helps Mia digest food.
“Mia has been a beacon of joy throughout this whole journey,” says Danielle. “Even during the most dire times at the hospital, Mia always smiled at everyone who came to help her.”
A happy future with IBD
After 56 days as an inpatient, Mia’s weight reached a healthy level and she was discharged home in June 2018. Today, Mia is thriving and loves dancing, singing and gymnastics.
“Our world changed the moment we stepped into MCH,” explains Danielle. “Despite it being a terrifying time, it was also an overwhelmingly positive experience due to the amazing caregivers and facilities at the hospital.”
The family has since moved to Alliston, Ontario and now receives care at their local children’s hospital, but they continue to fundraise and support McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.
“MCH saved Mia’s life and we’re forever grateful,” says Greg. “We encourage people to donate and help children like Mia so they can keep receiving the care they urgently need.”
Mia is sharing her story as a 2021 MacKids Walk & Wheel Patient Ambassador. Register for the event today!