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Pipiwharauroa now needs a bone marrow transplant

  • Pipiwharauroa-update

      24 April 2018
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    Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has supported Pipiwharauroa and her family through the past months. Your support gives Ashley, Joey and Amohia strength to stay positive and to keep going. We have all been in awe of our little girl-she is an amazing, strong, happy baby, in no small part due to the love and care she receives from near and far. Ka nui te mihi.

    When we first set up this page, Pipiwharauroa and her aunty Mina were undergoing liver transplant surgery. For those of you who don't know, the surgery and post-surgery went really well and the doctors were blown away by the progress Pipiwharauroa made in her recovery phase. Before long Mina was able to go back to Australia and Pipi and her family were moved from Starship to the Ronald Mcdonald apartments, then home to Tokoroa. Awesome news.

    Unfortunately it soon became clear through weekly tests that Pipi's body was fighting something as her liver levels were high so she was called back to Starship for a biopsy. Pipiwharauroa's liver doctors, surgeons and a new team of haematologists and oncologists had a meeting discussing her high liver numbers and her biopsy results. After hours of discussion they were able to diagnose Pipi with HLH disease (Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis). Doctors are convinced this disease was the cause of Pipiwharauroa's acute liver failure

    Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis is a rare blood disorder, when some of your white blood cells (Histiocytes)are overactive and start attacking healthy lymph tissue. In Pipi's case they attacked her liver when she was newly born and results from her biopsy show they have now started to attack her new liver.

    So where to now? The next step for Pipiwharauroa will be a bone marrow transplant. We have been blessed with a complete bone marrow match from the world wide registry and by a miracle chance her 100% match is from New Zealand. This is truly amazing as doctor's have said chances are slim to find a match from the same country and if no match it could take months to years until a complete match is found world wide so we are truly counting our blessings and so thankful.

    Pipiwharauroa and her mum have been approved to go home to Tokoroa for four weeks, then they'll be back to starship two weeks before Pipiwharauroa starts her bone marrow transplant. These two weeks before and 4-6 weeks after her bone marrow she'll be in isolation at starship hospital.

    Pipi's bone marrow transplant allows her to get a brand new immune system. This is a long and painful process taking up to eight weeks from the day the procedure will take place.

    As her liver transplant and her HLH disease are two separate situations her liver team, haematologist and oncologists are doing amazing work to ensure Pipiwharauroa is getting the best care. They are miracle workers here at Starship just like our cutie!

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