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Ma'ata’s battle with rheumatic fever

Ma'ata, 6, collapsed at home last week due to severe leg pain. Alarmed, her mother rushed her to the doctor, who immediately sent them to the emergency room. Ma'ata was quickly admitted to Kidz First Hospital, where she underwent tests and x-rays, confirming she has rheumatic fever — a diagnosis that called for immediate action.

Fortunately, Ma'ata's case was caught at an early stage, sparing her heart from the potentially devastating consequences of the disease. However, she now faces a long-term treatment plan that includes monthly antibiotic injections until she reaches the age of 21. Her mother says they can cope with the injections, they are just so thankful to have caught Ma'ata’s illness in time as it could have been a very different story.

Ma'ata couldn’t stand for the first couple of days, and was lonely, missing her siblings terribly. Ma'ata loves bubbles and wants to spend all day in the Kidz First playroom where she finds solace. One week on, Ma'ata is not ready to be discharged and while she stays at Kidz First with her mother, her father balances work and taking care of the family’s other 6 children. Ma'ata’s mother has been amazed by the extraordinary support of the Kidz First staff, saying “The staff make sure I have meals, the cleaners are amazing, always making sure the space is nice, and the nurses go above and beyond. The doctors always take the time to explain so I fully understand my daughter's condition and the Play Specialists are like big kids, they make it so fun in the playroom”

As Ma'ata's journey continues, her family faces additional challenges at home. They share an old house with aunties and uncles that lacks insulation, making it difficult to keep the children warm. The enormous power bills resulting from heating add to their financial concerns which are always on their minds. Nevertheless, Ma'ata's parents are grateful their children are content with what they have.

Thanks to our Jammies for June supporters, we are able to send Ma'ata home with warm jammies to keep her and her siblings snug through winter. We wish Ma'ata a speedy recovery and hope she can return home to her family soon.

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