HELP KEEP MORGAN HEALTHY! – GOAL R 200 000
Morgan Van Der Westhuizen was born on 27 December 2017 and from the start, she battled with food. Breastfeeding wasn’t advised as it left her grey and lethargic, and all formulas had the same reaction: feeds every 3 hours and fussing for 2 hours in-between, with severe reflux.
Eventually, the only formula that worked was Neocate. Morgan was a different child: she gained weight, hardly cried and most importantly… she was happy! The downside? It’s extremely expensive.
When Morgan was introduced to solids, she began to fall ill all of the time – flu symptoms along with chronic vomiting and diarrhea.
After a really stressful emergency hospital stay, where Morgan was severely dehydrated, it was clear – Morgan had a chronic food problem. Morgan had gone undiagnosed for 9 months.
She was referred to a specialist, where after a battery of tests, it came back that Morgan has Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES), which is a delayed food allergy. It’s an allergy where only the gastrointestinal organs are involved, and on eating a trigger food, vomiting and diarrhea occur, which can lead to severe dehydration and shock, requiring hospitalisation. In most cases, children with FPIES have a reaction to one or two foods only but Morgan has a more severe case where it’s easier to explain what doesn’t trigger a reaction, rather than what does.
Currently, Morgan can ONLY eat:
● Neocate formula (which is the most important as it provides 90% of her nutrition)
Currently, the Neocate formula costs almost R500 a tin, and the tin lasts at the most, 1 day ONLY. This means that the family spends around R15 000 a month on Neocate alone.
Morgan is underweight and underdeveloped for her age due to the FPIES, and she must attend occupational therapy and visit dieticians and specialist paediatric doctors, and the medical bills aren’t covered entirely by medical aid. She has also developed a primary immune condition from malnutrition, which requires its own treatment plan.
Due to the strict – and expensive – dietary plan that she must follow, and because children are naturally curious and it’ll be next to impossible to stop Morgan from eating something that she shouldn’t, Morgan cannot attend a daycare or crèche as yet, which means that Mom needs to stay at home to look after her. Morgan’s immune system is also severely compromised and cannot afford to pick up any bugs and germs that abound at crèche.
Morgan’s entire family is affected by this – when Morgan goes into hospital (which is, sadly, far too often), Mom stays with her in hospital. Morgan has an older sister, Dani, and she’s had to be far more mature for her age than what’s expected and has often had to come second to Morgan’s needs. Dad is the only breadwinner, and while he doesn’t mind, it is a huge financial strain.
Absolutely any help, be it by assisting with funding or even if you share this page, will be appreciated more than words can say.
FIND, LIKE AND FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA