Tiny tot's struggle touches big hearts
TODDLER Mayana has been given a Christmas gift early; the Ipswich community answered her family's call for help, and then some.
The $500 Mayana's family needs to buy the two-year-old, born with short gut syndrome, a special wet suit has been handed over by Ipswich law firm McNamara & Associates.
Bob Green from Happy Wanderers threw in an extra $200.
It means this summer Mayana will be able to experience water running down her face for the first time.
She'll be able to go swimming and play in the bath, just like other kids her age without risking a potentially fatal infection.
For Sharon, the woman who helps take care of Mayana, there were no words to express the gratitude she felt, knowing the difference the suit would make to Mayana's life yet it was something her family couldn't afford on top of all the other costs.
Sharon gladly accepted the cheque and cash, touched the community was so ready and willing to answer their call.
"This will really change her day to day life. Thank you so much," Sharon said.
Kevin Steed from McNamara & Associates said his firm was glad to have been given the opportunity.
"Bob was in the office on business and drew the article in the QT to my attention," Mr Steed said.
"If it's good enough for Bob, it is good enough for the whole community to support and we just hope this money goes someway to improving quality of life for the family and Mayana."
Mayana spent the first 14 months of her life in hospital at Townsville before her grandmother and carer Eileen moved down to Ipswich for more family support.
Their every-day routine is filled with medication, changing dressings and emptying a bag that hangs off the toddler's exposed intestines catching waste from the liquid food she consumes through a tube.
Despite her condition, Mayana is a bright, intelligent, curious, social and happy child.
For Eileen watching her miss out on so many of the things other children get to experience is more heartbreaking than knowing she is suffering from a serious medical condition.
"We don't treat her like she has anything wrong with her... we treat her like she's a normal child," Eileen said.
"For me it's watching her be so normal but also knowing she has such a serious issue that's the most difficult emotionally."
Mayana might be able to have a transplant in the future, but for now her doctors have recommended that while she's healthy a transplant would be an unnecessary risk.
The dry suit that will allow Mayana to safely play in the water will now be ordered from a company in the UK.