Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Diagnosis Helps Child Taste Life ; Child: Birthday Cake on Tap

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Diagnosis Helps Child Taste Life ; Child: Birthday Cake on Tap

Article excerpt

Since uncovering the medical mystery that made a youngster's life a painful, miserable ordeal, the turnaround in the northeast Kansas toddler's quality of life is nothing short of a miracle, the child's mother said this week.

The quality of life for Maehlee Her, now 22 months old, has improved immensely.

"Life is pretty awesome," said Marci Flory, Maehlee's mother. "We get to bond more with her than before. She's her own person. She's a lot of fun. She's 100 percent better."

"It's completely a miracle," Flory said.

For more than a year after her birth, Maehlee could rarely eat without vomiting.

Bedtime wasn't any better.

"Sometimes we'd change her pajamas five times in one night," Flory said.

Flory and Kao Her, the child's father, were told their daughter had a digestive disorder, which blocked her from eating almost any foods. Maehlee and her parents live in Eudora.

Flory knew within a week of Maehlee's birth in April 2013 that her infant was ill. Maehlee was vomiting nonstop and was screaming 24 hours a day, Flory said in a Topeka Capital-Journal story in May 2014.

Doctors thought she had eosinophilic esophagitis (EOE), a digestive disorder. EOE is an inflammatory condition in which the wall of the esophagus becomes filled with large numbers of white blood cells.

She was screaming, couldn't sleep and would refuse to eat, Flory said.

All she could eat was Elecare and squash. Elecare, an amino acid- based medical food in powder form, was mixed with water, then Maehlee drank it. That was it.

Finally, her parents followed a lead gleaned from other mothers of children with the digestive order and had Maehlee tested for C. diff.

C. diff, short for "clostridium difficile," is an infection in which the elderly and people with certain medical problems stand the greatest likelihood of getting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Common symptoms are watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and belly pain and tenderness, the CDC says.

The toddler was positive for C. diff, an infection treatable with antibiotics. …

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