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Meet Kiana Harrison

When little Kiana was just two months old she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis after suffering many chest infections. Cystic fibrosis is a genetically hereditary disorder that causes the mucous secreted in different parts of the body to be much thicker than usual which causes a blockage in your organs. In Kiana’s case, this build-up is in her lungs.

Kiana’s mother, Marilese, spends many sleepless nights watching over her young baby who once became so ill that she spent three weeks in the Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital and had to have a blood transfusion to save her life. The Red Cross Children’s Hospital is the only place where Kiana can receive the specialised care she needs.

Kiana visits the Hospital’s Cystic Fibrosis Outpatient Clinic once a month and often has to be admitted for two weeks at a time due to serious lung infections. At her monthly visits, Kiana is assessed by a multi-disciplinary team comprised of a pulmonologist, a gastroenterologist, a physiotherapist and a dietician. When Kiana was eight months old, she was once again admitted to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital with a multi-drug resistant bacterial pneumonia. Although she recovered from the pneumonia, she will most likely have to endure these illnesses for the rest of her life.

Marilese has been taught how to provide physiotherapy techniques which she performs twice a day at home to help ease Kiana’s mucous build-up. Marilese says, “The Nurses and doctors are so helpful, friendly and patient, and my baby is well taken care of. It’s very difficult to leave your baby at the Hospital but I have full faith in the staff here at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital and the services that they provide.”

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