Young Samburg girl’s journey inspires family, friends
Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 9:08 pm
By: Chris Menees, Messenger Staff Reporter
By CHRIS MENEES
Messenger Staff Reporter
God has already worked so many miracles in the life of 7-year-old Mayci Shea Hogg that it would take days for her family to share them all.
Her mother, Kristi (Roberson) Hogg of Samburg, said Mayci’s journey to the Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Center has been “unbelievable” from the time the family found out she could benefit from Hyperbarics.
And she believes God has a special purpose for Mayci and her family.
“First and foremost, humbled and overwhelmed is not even close as to how we feel from all the support in West Tennessee,” Mrs. Hogg said.
“God has worked so many miracles that it would take days to tell them all. Mayci’s journey (to the Wisconsin center) has been unbelievable from the time we found out that we could benefit from Hyperbarics until now. Our life has never been the same. It has definitely been a life-changing experience for all of us.”
Mayci, the daughter of Mrs. Hogg and her husband Richard, was born with a rare mitochondrial disorder that has filled the first years of her young life with doctor visits, numerous medications and little hope for the future. As a result, she has had low vision, could not walk or talk and was unable to communicate with her family. She has had treatment for cataracts and a severe seizure disorder that has worsened, had a feeding tube placed and had many hospital visits because of viral infections and other types of sickness.
But Mayci and her family were offered new hope two months ago in the form of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, which Mayci began June 9 at the state-of-the-art Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Center. It marked the only hope the family had received in several years. (See related photos and story, Page B1.)
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a specialized therapy that uses an increase in atmospheric pressure to allow the body to
incorporate more oxygen into blood cells, blood plasma, cerebral-spinal fluid and other body fluids.
The Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Center was created because of a little girl named Grace Kenitz, whose life was saved by Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Until the age of three, Grace’s mitochondrial disorder meant life was mainly spent in hospitals. In effect, she was blind, failing to thrive and fed through a feeding tube. Plus, much like Mayci, she suffered from seizures and infantile spasms and underwent several surgical procedures.
Hyperbaric medicine was Grace’s last choice — and it proved to be the key in her successful recovery and return to her family.
Mrs. Hogg said Mayci has shown marked improvement in the two months she has undergone Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at the Wisconsin facility and is doing very well. Her treatment has included twice-daily one-hour sessions in an oxygen chamber, as well as intensive physical therapy known as suit therapy.
Mayci’s improvements in the last two months include not having had any seizures in six weeks, better head control, improved vision, reaching out for more things in front of her, tracking and following almost precisely, a higher energy level, eating better, not being as tired, being able to handle four hours of suit therapy and less teeth grinding.
When Mayci and her family return home to Tennessee this weekend, they will bring with them a portable soft chamber to allow Mayci to continue treatments at home.
“That’s a maintenance thing,” Mrs. Hogg said. “We will probably have to come back again to a hard chamber sometime within the next few months.”
Mrs. Hogg said the family is very thankful for the many fund raisers that have already been held and the many planned in the future to help with expenses and to allow Mayci to continue treatment. She said the fund raisers have all been “blessings from God.”
“From the girls in Lake County who had a bake sale all the way to a huge concert benefit that is to happen on September 13th, the outpouring of love has been tremendous,” she said. “We want everyone to know how thankful we are for everything, all the prayers and all the donations given to us.”
A learning experience
Mrs. Hogg said she wants to bring home everything she has learned in Wisconsin in order to help other families in Tennessee who have children with special needs.
“There are things that can help,” she said. “They don’t have to sit at home and think that there’s nothing else to do for their kids.”
Mrs. Hogg said she and her family have learned these things:
• the importance of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for any and all brain-injured people;
• the importance of HBOT and suit therapy together;
• the mercury, lead and toxins and pesticides Mayci has in her system and how there are “treatable” things to remove them and keep them from coming back into the system;
• unique testing that needs to be done for these children to see what type of food allergies they have;
• the importance of a special gluten-free/casein-free and/or organic diet that needs to be in place for Mayci as well as for autistic children;
• the supplements that need to be in place to replace what Mayci’s body does not produce on its own;
• the financial support and emotional support that are available; and
• worldwide coverage and how mothers around the world are yearning to do these things for their children.
Mrs. Hogg said she has already spoken with several mothers on the telephone, including one from California who was undecided about doing the oxygen treatment for her child, also a mitochondrial baby. After Mrs. Hogg spoke with her for about 30 minutes, the other mother decided to go ahead and begin treatments in California.
“I feel like I’ve been in college the past two months and I have absorbed so much information for others,” Mrs. Hogg said. “I cannot wait to help others out. I feel that this is what God has led us to do. He has opened so many doors for us and He is telling us that He’s allowing this to happen for Mayci so that we are able to come back to Tennessee and ‘pay it forward.’”
Published in The Messenger 7.30.08
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