Woolworths Nutrition Ambassador

July 8, 2012 is a day Hayley and her family will never forget. Hayley went from not feeling great to being in a comatosed state in a matter of hours.

The next morning, she was flown with her dad from Bundaberg Hospital to the Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. With all her organs shutting down and her thyroid making her body fight against itself, specialists from around Australia had a challenge on their hands to keep her body working. It was touch and go and terrifying for Hayley and her family.

Following numerous blood transfusions, bone marrow, scans and tests Hayley was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic with Hyperthyroidism and high blood pressure, while also being Celiac and lactose intolerant, among other dietary restraints and intolerances.“It was terrifying” recalls mum Juliette, “They literally had to help Hayley’s body learn how to work again”.

Seven years on, and although it’s been a long, tough journey, Hayley is now doing really well. Hayley has, and will continue to attend regular appointments and check-ups with specialists at Queensland Children’s Hospital and she must test her own blood daily. Her diagnosis meant big changes for the family  around diet and lifestyle to encompass her health needs. “We all had to learn a new way to live” Hayley’s mum, Juliette said.

Hayley’s medical treatment includes consultations with researchers from the Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition Research. Hayley and her family are extremely thankful that this research is being undertaken and hope it will help to improve outcomes and treatment plans for kids like Hayley in the future. “The specialist care we receive is worth all the gold in the world and as
technology improves so does the help.” Juliette said.

While her own medical journey is far from over, Hayley lives life to the fullest enjoying sports and horse riding. She is very focussed on following her dream of becoming a nurse. Having experienced firsthand the dedication and care provided by nurses, doctors and specialists, Hayley wants to give to other children what has been given to her – the chance to live a long and healthy life!

Woolworths Nutrition Ambassador, Hayley,  with Rosie Simpson, CEO Children’s Hospital Foundation (left) and Dr Severrine Navarro (right) celebrating the launch of the Woolworths Centre for Childhood Nutrition.