Alison Gerrard and Emma Priddle with their 19 month old son Kayden Gerrard-Priddle pictured at their Mundingburra home. Picture: Shae Beplate.
Alison Gerrard and Emma Priddle with their 19 month old son Kayden Gerrard-Priddle pictured at their Mundingburra home. Picture: Shae Beplate.

Shocking diagnosis cures uncertainty

IT WAS a shock diagnosis that explained 17 months of anguish for a young Townsville family.

After battling constant infections since he was eight weeks old, Kayden Gerrard-Priddle was finally diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that affects five in 200,000 males.

While it would be most parents' worst nightmare, for first-time mums Emma Priddle and Alison Gerrard, the diagnosis came as "a relief".

The 19-month-old was diagnosed with X-Linked Arammaglobulinemia last month after battling constant infections for 17 months.

The rare condition is a genetic male disease located in the X chromosome that weakens the immune system.

For Kayden it meant countless visits to the doctor with few answers.

"He had a persistent cough that would settle down but it would always be there," Ms Gerrard said.

"It explains why he was so sick and it has explained why he was repeatedly getting sick."

After rushing Kayden to the Townsville University Hospital on the verge of respiratory failure, doctors diagnosed the toddler a week later on May 25.

"If we hadn't taken him into hospital it could have been really bad," Ms Gerrard said.

"He was struggling to breathe and he was put in an induced coma for 3½ days and put on a ventilator to give his body a rest."

The diagnosis means Kayden will undergo monthly plasma transfusions for the rest of his life but the family are happy to finally have the answers to their questions.

"We were taking Kayden to the doctor at least every month and we were told it was a chest infection and we would be sent away with antibiotics," Ms Gerrard said.

"The diagnosis was a relief. We know it could be a lot worse. It is just so good to see him not suffering any more."

Kayden has had two transfusions, receiving 50ml of plasma.

Ms Priddle and Ms Gerrard are now plasma donors themselves, hoping that their fortnightly donations will help other sick children.

"It is very rewarding and we always thought of donating but when we found out that (Kayden) needed white plasma, it gave us more of a push to do it," Ms Gerrard said.

The Mundingburra family will travel to the Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane in three months to train in how to administer subcutaneous plasma through Kayden's belly every week.

Originally published as Shocking diagnosis cures uncertainty


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