Local toddler needs surgery just to eat

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Two and a half year old Kaila Laskey has spent the first part of her young life battling a disorder so rare that there’s no surgery to cure it in this country.

Kaila has been diagnosed with a rare illness called Achalasia, which makes it hard for her to eat like a normal toddler. The disease affects the oesophagus muscle causing difficulty in swallowing, chest pain and regurgitation of food and liquids. Since she was a baby she’s battled to eat and after ten operations, guesswork by doctors and lots of frustration from mum Alana Mayo, they’ve finally found out what’s wrong with her. The only problem is, there’s no fix for her in this country.

Kaila was diagnosed just two weeks ago but has been told New Zealand doesn’t have the facilities to perform the surgery that will cure her. Instead Sydney is the closest hospital she could have the operation at, but the New Zealand Health Board has declined a bid to help get Kaila there and Alana says she’s desperate for options. “I don’t sleep any more, I cry myself to sleep every night; my daughter cannot eat like a normal kid. I’m angry that the health board won’t help me in any way. If Kaila does not get this surgery she has to live with this disease.” “We are looking at thousands of dollars, we have to pay the hospital fee, surgeon, anaesthetist, accommodation, flights, everything.”

You can donate towards Kaila’s surgery by depositing money into the ‘Alana Mayo in Trust Fund for Kaila Laskey’ bank account 3010877019546546.