Waikato medical trial saves girl from brain damage
Molly Milroy has a spark in her eye as she plays with her toys on the lounge floor - the kind of spark you see in all healthy 3-year-old children.
Molly was born with low-blood sugar levels, but thanks to the quick work of Waikato Hospital staff she was given a trial dose of dextrose gel that her mother, Phillippa Milroy, said saved her from brain damage.
"I was relieved that it was picked up so early and so grateful that I could be part of this study that we were able to put into remedy, and not only just fix it, but to keep an eye on it for the next three years," said Mrs Milroy with a snap of her fingers.
The family was part of a study which has resulted in a groundbreaking research project conducted at Waikato Hospital.
Molly's blood sugar levels were taken during tests immediately after her birth and Waikato neonatal nurse practitioner Dr Deborah Harris got the ball rolling.
"They came to see me straight after she was born. Debbie Harris came in and said would I be available to be on this particular study . . . so I said yes, I would do this study.
"If we weren't there at that time, who's to know what the outcome would've been. It could be a far worse scenario," Mrs Milroy said.
Dr Harris and her team worked with Mrs Milroy's midwife to do follow-up tests for eyesight, hearing and motor function, to ensure Molly's development was healthy during the early stages.
"The reason I actually did it was that anything to do with children and any research to help them is beneficial."
Molly had grown into an active and healthy girl with no problems and Mrs Milroy said the treatment was so simple that she wondered what else it could be used for.
"It's very simple so why hadn't anyone come up with it before," she said. "It would be interesting to know in the long term to see, with diabetics, whether it would be used for their sugar levels and things like that."
Mrs Milroy and her husband Mark were waiting for the results of the trial to arrive in the mail of their Hamilton home when the Times called, but said it was a stroke of luck that they were even a part of it.
"I was there at the right time and the right place and for the right reason and it was excellent."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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