For the past 2 years, Conti Strata have had the privilege of being able to assist a four year old girl with many health issues and special needs. The little warrior, Anabela “Bubbles” Kleyn has touched all our hearts.
Shortly after birth, Anabela was diagnosed with a long list of conditions including limb defects additional ribs, Spina Bifida and issues with her throat that can often stop her eating and breathing. Anabela was also born with a facial deformity which has affected the right side of her face. Her right eye can’t blink when she is awake and the right side of her jaw was shrunken by Hemifacial Microsomia, a condition in which the lower half of one side of the face is underdeveloped and does not grow normally. She has Microtia Atresia Grade 3 meaning she does not have an outer right ear nor does she have an ear canal resulting in no middle ear.
Despite her many health issues and the pain and discomfort she has experienced in her young life, Anabela has an indomitable spirit, strength of will and an infectious love for life buoyed by her greatest champion, her mum Sarah.
This year Anabela was due to start pre-school and expressed concern about what other children may think of her missing right ear. While she is too young for a surgically reconstructed ear requiring 4 major surgeries, Sarah was able to source another non-invasive option – a prosthetic ear!
Prosthetics Art Technology in Byron Bay, create facial prosthetics and ears are one part of the face they can make an ultra-realistic prosthetic for through casting, moulding and sculpting to a person’s individual needs.
The Conti Strata team fundraised for the full cost of the cost of Anabela’s prosthetic ear, $3,530.00.
Sarah says, “If it weren’t for Conti Strata and their support Anabela would have had an extremely difficult time in the playground and in school with being picked on for her deformity.”
“Anabela loves her ear! She can now choose to blend in with her classmates or be herself, the choice is hers. This prosthetic ear gives her the chance to build her confidence.” – Sarah, mum
FLY ANABELA TO BOSTON
Whilst Anabela’s year at preschool has been made a little easier through our support, she continues to face many other daily struggles and has many hurdles yet to overcome. Anabela needs to get to Boston to further evaluate a rare congenital heart anomaly, ultimately requiring life threatening surgery.
This heart anomaly is a misplaced artery known as an Aberrant Right Subclavian Artery. This artery is trapped between Anabela’s spine, oesophagus and trachea. This artery is compressing and pulsating on both her oesophagus (food tube) and trachea (airway) this, in turn ends up choking her and rendering her unable to swallow and breath. This condition has already led to many frightening experiences for Anabela and her mum Sarah and she is regularly monitored by Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Due to the many costly pre-existing medical issues that Anabela already has, funding a trip to Boston and the cost of the surgery is impossible for Sarah as a single Mum and Anabela’s primary carer.
As this surgery has not been performed on a child in Australia getting to Boston is Anabela’s greatest hope of correcting her potentially life-threatening condition. Sarah has started a Go Fund me page to help raise the money to get to America and to pay the cost of this surgery.