In March 2017, Jayda — an athletic and active then eleven-year-old — became ill with a fever and started vomiting. The next day when she began wheezing, Jayda’s parents, Lisa and Brent, rushed her to the IWK emergency department.
When young Mackenzie bumped her head during a bout of the flu, the virus started to affect her body in an unusual way. As time went on, the symptoms of her flu infection seemed to worsen so her father brought her to the emergency department at the Georges Dumont Hospital in Moncton, NB.
Mackenzie underwent a CT scan that showed her infection was in her brain, resulting in swelling. She was immediately airlifted to the IWK, where she was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).
Mackenzie stayed in the PICU for nine days, and remained at the IWK for another two months. She had a shunt placed in to drain fluid from her brain. As a result of her infection, Mackenzie was left with a severe visual impairment, and she also needed to relearn motor skills, like how to sit up, use utensils and crawl.
Today, Mackenzie receives her treatment at home in Moncton. She is a typical two year old, who loves people, animals and her favourite movie is Frozen. She makes weekly visits to physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals and a vision specialist. She recently started crawling regularly and visually, she has also started reacting to light.
The IWK doesn’t only care your child, they care for the whole family, and that was really, really, nice. - Mélodie, Mackenzie’s mom