How our miracle baby surprised everyone
Welcoming a new life into the world should be a time for celebration and happiness. However, for Ipswich mum Anne Wright the joy of giving birth was short lived after she noticed a strange blue spot on her newborn’s forehead.
Blood tests revealed the worst. Her tiny daughter, Maggie, had a rare form of leukaemia.
Anne and Maggie were immediately transferred to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and at two and a half weeks old, Maggie began chemotherapy. The treatment caused her condition to deteriorate dramatically and she was quickly put on life support.
At just three months old, Maggie underwent a gruelling unrelated cord blood stem cell transplant. She then battled through kidney failure, weeks of dialysis and more time in intensive care.
Despite being given just a two per cent chance of survival, Maggie triumphed. Doctors described her as a ‘miracle baby’.
Seven years on, Maggie is in remission and is a happy and vivacious little girl with an infectious smile and personality. In January last year she excitedly traded chemotherapy for the classroom – starting school at Ipswich West Special School.
This year, her mum Anne, 47, will shave her head for the World’s Greatest Shave as a tribute to Maggie’s brave fight and the fight of others who are affected by blood cancer.
“Shaving my hair is the only way I can physically do something to help or even understand a little of what cancer patients endure,” Anne said.
“We were lucky to have been provided with accommodation by the Leukaemia Foundation – a true blessing as it meant that me and my husband, John, could be by our gravely ill daughter’s bedside when she needed us.
“I’m also doing it for Maggie. She is now of an age where she understands more and questions why she needs to have blood tests each fortnight.”
Graft versus host disease
Despite her remission, Maggie still receives regular hospital check-ups and takes medication to treat chronic graft versus host disease – a common condition cancer patients experience after a stem cell transplant.
Although no longer a baby, Maggie remains a ‘little miracle’ to all she meets through her positive outlook and determination to make the most of her new life.