Kelly & Ian's story - Baby Isabella's non-functioning pituitary gland
Young Isabella Andrews was born with a non-functioning pituitary gland. Here mum Kelly tells us her story:
"From birth Isabella never fed very well or slept very well and was often crying for long periods of time. Despite my concerns, health professionals put it down to a number of things including reflux, thrush and colic. They told me I was an over anxious first time Mum. Suddenly an hour after I had taken her to the doctor yet again one day and was told Isabella was fine, she became very ill. Her body went floppy, her eyes were rolling and she went blue.
She was rushed to hospital where staff battled to save her life many times, yet no one knew what had caused her dramatic decrease in health. She was initially treated for meningitis in intensive care for a week but after this, Isabella continued to stop breathing many times as doctors continued to investigate what had caused her to become so poorly. Finally, an MRI scan revealed Isabella had been born with a non functioning pituitary gland. This is the master gland which sends messages to different parts of the body to tell it to produce a variety of hormones. These hormones are essential for survival: helping our body to cope with illness, ensuring growth, transition through puberty etc. Her little body had a minor water infection, but was unable to cope with it due to lacking the all important hormones.
Several months later Isabella is a lovely, cheeky little girl. She takes daily medicines and has a growth hormone injection every day to help her grow. She has emergency medication with her at all times in case she becomes poorly again, which she has needed a few times in her life so far. General childhood ailments are potentially life threatening for Isabella. However, as it is rare for children to be born without the pituitary gland working, there is little money invested in researching this extremely serious condition."
As a show of support for Isabella a number of her family and family friends are participating in the Zip Slide Challenge in Chepstow on June 9th to raise funds for The Pituitary Foundation. You can show your support by sponsoring the team with their fundraising efforts HERE or you could even take part in the challenge?
Pictured below are Isabella and her family.