Written by Bonnie Olsen
Isn’t it odd how something that seems very small can change a person’s life forever? Sometimes it is a phone call, an e-mail or something as simple as the common cold.
This is a story about a baby girl and how a “cold” changed her life and the lives of those around her forever. Ayla Hall was born April 19, the fourth child of Bethany and Lucas Hall. When she was less than a month old, she caught a cold that just kept getting worse. Ayla saw several doctors who said that she had a cold, upper respiratory infection, bronchitis and then whooping cough.
In mid June, things took a turn for the worse. Bethany took her to the emergency room because she was coughing so hard that she was having blue spells. The doctor said she was fine and sent her home. The next day, Bethany took her to the clinic and finally someone agreed with Bethany that Ayla is a very sick little girl. She was transferred to a hospital in Billings for testing.
On June 28, the doctor told Bethany that Ayla has Severe Combined Immunodeficiency and that the only cure is a bone marrow transplant. Ayla and Bethany were immediately flown to Denver, Colo. The doctor confirmed that it was SCID, a primary immune deficiency.
All the family was tested and one of Ayla’s older sisters was a perfect match and became her donor. She had intensive chemotherapy treatments and had a bone marrow transplant on Sept. 14. She has been in Children’s Hospital in Denver for three months and will have to spend more time there until her body can build itself up again. After that, there will be many doctor appointments.
When she gets back to Montana, she will have to live in a clean environment. The family has talked about selling the home they own and building a new home, one which meets Ayla’s needs. The house will have to be inspected to make sure there is no mildew or mold. The air system needs to be excellent, the heater needs to be in perfect condition, and have good water. The windows have to be air tight, no dust can get in. Any car that she gets in will have to be detailed and she will not be able to go outside without a mask for one year. She won’t be able to go in crowds of people, no going to the store. There will still be many check ups with the doctor in Denver in the years to come.
A group of people from the community have decided to help this family by working on a fundraising benefit for them. It will be on Saturday, October 27th at 4:00 p.m. at the Elks