“Finally, because of COVID-19, the world has now caught up.”
As the whole world grapples with the physical, emotional, and social changes brought about by COVID 19, Tegan Russell feels a sense of relief.
Five-year-old twins Isla and Maeve were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at just five weeks old. After the standard heel prick test, mum, Tegan received a call to say there were some anomalies.
Her world as she knew it stopped.
While there was some glimmer of hope from the initial call, that was quashed
immediately when the family met with the specialist team at Queensland Children’s
Hospital. Both girls were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, an illness with a life expectancy of 47 years but where most don’t live past their twenties.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that hinders breathing and can lead to potentially fatal lung infections. The disease also lowers immunity meaning that even the common cold could prove fatal. Since diagnosis, the Russell family has built their life around avoiding colds or flu, and now – as we can all understand - COVID-19.
Infection control has always played a critical role in keeping the girls safe, and not just during the pandemic!
Often, the girls have missed out on seeing friends and extended family members due to illness for fear that they too would catch a cold or flu and become unwell. The family makes sure that they always carry face masks and hand sanitiser.
Their twins’ lives depend on it.
Did you know that in Australia, a child is born with cystic fibrosis –
a condition for which there is no known cure - every four days?
Immediately after diagnosis, the baby girls entered a
gruelling daily physiotherapy program to keep airways clear
and avoid potentially fatal lung infections. As busy parents,
administering physio and medication while working full time
and raising another child five years older, meant that external
family support was essential to keep the wheels turning.
Every day, Cystic Fibrosis Queensland works to provide vital
airway clearance devices and nebulisers to reduce the strain of
cystic fibrosis on the whole family.
Please will you donate this Christmas and help families like the Russells live their lives unaffected by cystic fibrosis?