Destiny has always been healthy. Then one April day, out of nowhere, her right arm became covered in black patches and her skin so painful, it became hard to do basic tasks with her wrist. Writing with a pencil, brushing her hair, opening a jar, they all caused excruciating pain. Her discoloured skin made her self-conscious about her appearance so much so she would only wear long sleeves. A dermatologist diagnosed her with Morphea scleroderma, a disease very rare in children that attacks the tissues of the skin, and if left untreated, can eat away at the bone as well.
Destiny met Rheumatologist Dr. Luca at the Alberta Children’s Hospital who put her on a path of treatment, and now her life and quality of life depends on getting needles. In addition to applying two different ointments daily and receiving chemotherapy injections at home every Friday to stop the diseased tissue’s spread, she must also receive an infusion of steroid medication through an IV, called IVIG, at the hospital’s Medical Day Treatment unit every month for three consecutive days. “I didn’t even keep Advil in my house before this!” says her mom Kismet. But she put their trust and faith in the experts and thanks to their knowledge and support, she has learned to manage Destiny’s condition. After spending so much time at the hospital, the family says it now feels like home. She still has a long way to go in her treatment journey, but it is already helping remove the discoloured patches.
Today, receiving necessary life-saving infusion treatments is now a more comfortable and positive experience for kids like Destiny, thanks to a new Vein Viewer purchased for the Medical Day Treatment unit through the 2020 Radiothon. The tool helps medical experts start IV’s in veins that are hard to see or locate. One day, a nurse was having trouble drawing blood through her IV so needed to poke her again, making Destiny very anxious. They wheeled out the Vein Viewer, which uses a near-infrared light that highlights the vein directly and immediately, the nurse and Destiny were able to see a clear and accurate view of her vein patterns in real time.
Destiny’s family are so grateful for the donor-funded Vein Viewer that is helping kids like her have an easier experience receiving life-saving treatments on the Medical Day Treatment unit.
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