Doing it tough? Spare a thought for Emily

Doing it tough? Spare a thought for Emily

Nine-year-old Emily Irene Davidson with Maddington Education Support Centre teacher Ashley Temple.

Concerned parents of a nine-year-old girl who was born with a number of conditions are having to adjust to the government’s strict measures while trying to keep their daughter’s essential treatments going.

Emily Irene Davidson was born with Pierre Sequence, micrognathia and microcephaly, and spent the first months of her life with a feeding and nasal breathing tube until her cleft palate repair operation when she was 18-months-old.

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’s strict regulations, her parents Caroline and Peter Davidson, who both work for essential services, said Emily needs some support that simply cannot be provided through a video call.

“We were initially concerned when Emily’s therapy providers wrote that they were stopping provision of services due to the pandemic,” she said.

“Thankfully they managed to go to online video conferencing to continue providing her physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

“However, Emily’s needs for continuing special dental support from the Perth Children’s hospital is a concern as dental services can’t be provided online.

“It’s a worry to me, that if her need for a mandible distraction become acute, due to sleep apnoea, breathing and feeding problems, then the surgery might not occur due to the pandemic.”

In addition, Emily suffered from Respiratory Syncytial virus when she was much younger and had to be isolated at the Princess Margaret Hospital.

“That experience has heightened our concern because we’re more acutely aware of the realities of the risk of spreading the disease by not maintaining strict isolation during this health crisis,” she said.

“It was a scary time then, and we are even more worried now.”

Although Emily said she misses school and being able to go out to visit people, she is aware of the risks imposed by the current crisis.

“She knows that it’s due to ‘a virus’ and she diligently washes her hands which we are quite proud of.

“She doesn’t find it a chore at all,” said Ms Davidson.

However, thanks to the support of Maddington Education Support Centre’s staff, Emily has received a number of interactive and fun activities to keep her distracted before the start of term two.