Sunday 22 April 2018

Family's appeal for help for beloved baby Kyra

Baby Kyra Hutchins with her mother Amy
Baby Kyra Hutchins with her mother Amy

Fintan Lambe

A local family has begun a fundraising appeal for sensory and development equipment for their 10-month-old daughter who is awaiting treatment for a large tumour which has filled her mouth. Baby Kyra Hutchins from Bunclody was born on May 1, 2016, to parents Amy and Anthony, who are originally from Gorey.

Amy said that when Kyra was born, she had a baseline heart rate of 80 bpm and spent five days in the special care baby unit in Wexford General before being allowed to go home. 'Kyra had a blue coloured lump in her mouth which we were told is okay,' she said, but added that Kyra had trouble feeding from the start. She was told this would get better.

'As the days went on, the lump in Kyra's mouth got bigger, a lot bigger,' she continued. 'One morning, at five weeks old, Kyra woke up in extreme discomfort. I rang our family doctor immediately.'

An urgent referral was made to Wexford General, and from there on Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin. During an out-patient appointment there three days later, Kyra was admitted straight away, and tests and scans began.

'A week into our stay in Crumlin, we were told Kyra had lymphangioma tumour in her mouth,' said Amy. 'This was devastating for us as we knew this meant Kyra's early childhood would be spent in hospital.' As Kyra couldn't take a bottle, she had to be fed through a nasogastric tube.

After ten days, Kyra developed breathing difficulties and was rushed to intensive care and put on life support. 'We and her medical team made the decision that a tracheostomy (an artificial airway tube) would be the best option for Kyra, so she went through this life saving operation, and spent the next 21 days in intensive care being weaned off the life support machine,' explained Amy.

When she finally began to breathe on her own, Kyra was moved to the baby ward where she spent six months while her parents trained to become competent careers for Kyra's needs.

It was then decided to give Kyra some normality and bring her home to spend time with her parents, two brothers and sister, while she awaits treatment. Amy said that Kyra has turned into a very happy-go-lucky baby and loves to smile, but treatment dates are approaching and Kyra is going to face her biggest challenge yet - scilotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation.

Kyra being peg-fed and is slowly progressing with her feeding, but she cannot crawl as her bones are weak; she can't be given a bath; and she can't suck a soother as the tumour has taken up all the space in her mouth. 'We have not heard Kyra's little voice since the day she was rushed to ICU,' said Amy, 'not as much as a first word or crying sound.'

Kyra depends on sensory equipment to keep her brain active. 'She absolutely loves lights and would really benefit from sensory and development equipment,' explained Amy. 'Our goal is to raise €5,000 to provide Kyra with a hospital cot and all her sensory equipment, so we would appeal to everyone if you can spare any donation, however big or small, everything will help.' Donate by visiting Kyra's page - Kyra's Road to Recovery - on .

Gorey Guardian