Three women have come to the aid of a family in need, crowdfunding to cover the medical costs of 15-year-old Bridget who suffers from multiple rare diseases.
Springs, South Africa (15 December 2020) – 15-year-old Bridget Aucamp was diagnosed with Rhett Syndrome, Epilepsy and Autism by the time she was one; she then developed severe Dystonia, Osteoporosis and Cerebral Palsy. In the last 15 years, she has proven to be an incredible fighter but her family need a helping hand to make life easier for her.
Jenine Whitehorn, Yolandi Van Wyk and Yvonne Harding hears Bridget’s story and decided to help the family cover the costs needed to help Bridget breath easier. Bridget needs to be placed in traction which will help alleviate her chronic pain and assist in her ability to breathe.
“A few days before her first birthday, Bridget started getting fits. From here on out she persistently suffered from epileptic fits which damaged the left side of her brain, leaving Bridget to be non-verbal. She recently turned fifteen but has the mental capacity of a non-verbal three-year-old. Bridget was later diagnosed with Rhett Syndrome, Epilepsy and Autism.
Her neck started to cradle in during February 2018, and from there, her doctor said she had Torticollis in her neck, a rare condition in which the neck muscles contract, causing the head to twist to one side. The cause of this is unknown.
She no longer gets visible epileptic seizures, but her last EEG reported her abnormal brain wave activity, and even more so during her sleep, which indicates seizure activity. She is dependant on Urbanol to be able to sleep as she cannot sleep without it due to her brain not being able to switch off and seizures persist.”
Bridget has been receiving treatment at Steve Biko Academic Hospital for several years now and was due to go in for traction on the 9th of November but because of COVID-19, she was unable to be admitted to the children’s ward.
“On Monday, 9th November, Bridget was scheduled to go to the hospital for traction treatment which would assist in straightening the neck and spine, help with breathing and relieve her from pain. When her parents arrived at the government hospital they were told that due to Covid Madelyn could not stay with Bridget and Bridget would need to be in the hospital for almost three weeks. They were told that Bridget would also be admitted to an adult ward which was shared by men and women.
Bridget’s parents refused to book her in. A physically and mentally disabled child shouldn’t be in a ward with adults shared by both genders without her mother’s care, love and supervision.” – Yolandi Van Wyk
Jenine, Yolandi and Yvonne set up a crowdfund to cover the cost of Bridget getting traction at a private hospital. She is very dependent on her electric oxygenator as she struggles to breathe so they also hope to get a mobile unit so Bridget can leave the house for appointments.
Bridget’s mother Madelyn has become her full-time carer which has meant the family have become reliant on Dirk, Bridget’s step-father for all their financial needs. The crowdfund will take the pressure off the family and give them all a chance to focus on the good things and not worry about money.
While Bridget has had many struggles in her life so far, her support system has been everything she could need.
“Please help us to help Bridget with a better quality of life and to ease the financial stress on her parents, brother and sister. Taking care of an ill child is emotionally and physically tough enough we would like to lighten the load for the Van Zyl family.”
You can support their crowdfund here, all funds will be used to cover Bridget’s medication, diapers, special food, her traction surgery, a mobile oxygen machine and speech therapy. They are hoping to raise R100,000.00 to help the family.