News

'Second skin will give our little girl longer to live'

HOPE: Karlia Craig has dreams of becoming a mermaid or princess one day.
HOPE: Karlia Craig has dreams of becoming a mermaid or princess one day. Contributed

CONFINED to a hospital bed almost 1000km from home, Karlia Craig is barely alive as her spine slowly crushes her lungs and heart.

The little eight-year-old from Mackay is no stranger to struggle, having been diagnosed with multi-minnicore myopathy at birth, a rare congenital muscle disorder, she has gone from strength to strength trying to achieve a "normal" life.

She had previously been able to attend a mainstream school with a support aid, enjoyed time spent playing with her older sister and had dreams of being a mermaid or a princess.

Now however, after developing severe scoliosis (curvature of the spine), her health is deteriorating rapidly with a "second skin suit" her only hope for a prolonged life.

"We had an emergency airlift to the Brisbane hospital two weeks ago and when we got here she nearly passed away," mum Coraley Craig said as she held back tears.

 

Coraley Craig, Celeste Medd, Karlia Craig, Danielle Tucker and Rachael Craig.
Coraley Craig, Celeste Medd, Karlia Craig, Danielle Tucker and Rachael Craig. Contributed

"I think she nearly gave up there for a little while, but she's doing much better at the moment.

"Luckily her health has improved and we just came out of the intensive care unit yesterday.

"The doctors have said though that if we don't get the second skin and try it out, it's not going to be long for her."

Coraley is not unfamiliar with adverse predictions however, with doctors expecting Karlia to die during delivery. Even after birth, they anticipated she wouldn't live long and would not be able to walk or talk.

It was when she was two that Coraley first detected her daughter's scoliosis, noticing strange appearances on the x-rays.

The doctors recommended to wait and see how the condition developed, until finally she deteriorated enough to require a brace. By this time however it was too late, the brace couldn't stop the worsening of her condition.

 

Karlia Craig recovers after long periods of medical support in Brisbane.
Karlia Craig recovers after long periods of medical support in Brisbane. Contributed

From this point onwards Karlia has spent most of her life between a wheelchair and a walker, until her scoliosis worsened to the point where she could no longer touch the ground with both feet at the same time.

Doctors now refuse to perform spinal surgery on Karlia as her lungs are unlikely to survive the multiple operations she will need, which leaves the second skin suit as her only option.

A second skin suit is similar to a lycra suit but has an internal frame to support the wearer.

For Karlia, the suit could slow down the progression of her scoliosis and hopefully prolong her life. The only barrier at the moment however is cost.

Coraley is a full time carer and cannot afford the $2700, plus extras for fittings, for the second skin suit.

Karlia's doctors have said she only has a month or two left before her condition is so extreme that even the suit will no longer be able to stop her spine from crushing her organs.

It is for this reason Coraley is appealing to the public through a gofundme page to help raise money for the purchase of a suit, and hopefully many more years of life for Karlia.

"I'd appreciate any help we can get for the second skin suit because it just means she could have a longer life with us as a family."

Donations can be made at gofundme.com/2avpz58.

Topics:  editors picks, heart, lungs, organs, scoliosis, second skin, spinal


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Songs, memories and glee

ANNUAL GIG: The Bribie Gleemen are set for their annual show tomorrow midday.

Songs, memories and glee

Bribie kids take in sustainability

WORKSHOP: Bribie Island State (primary) School will host a unique permaculture workshop .

Bribie kids take in sustainability

Orphans of Watoto share their stories through music

The Watoto Choir performed at RSL Care Fernhill Retirement Community on Wedensday  as part of its tour of Australia.

The Watoto Choir performed at Fernhill Retirement Community Care.

Local Partners

Rare limb deficiency means baby needs overseas surgery to walk

Baby Dylan was born with bilateral fibular hemimelia, a rare limb deficiency in which she is missing the fibula bones in both her legs.

Car engulfed by flames in Morayfield

No one was hurt at the scene of a burnt-out car near Morayfield State School on Thursday September 29.

"I thought the school was on fire.”

Songs, memories and glee

ANNUAL GIG: The Bribie Gleemen are set for their annual show tomorrow midday.

Songs, memories and glee

Bribie kids take in sustainability

WORKSHOP: Bribie Island State (primary) School will host a unique permaculture workshop .

Bribie kids take in sustainability

Orphans of Watoto share their stories through music

The Watoto Choir performed at RSL Care Fernhill Retirement Community on Wedensday  as part of its tour of Australia.

The Watoto Choir performed at Fernhill Retirement Community Care.

Teen girl goes missing in Burpengary

Police are seeking public assistance to help locate a 14-year-old girl reported missing from Burpengary.

The girl was last seen around 9.15am at an address in Hedges Avenue.

Beachmere's Steiner School to relocate

STEINER SCHOOL: The Steiner School's board member Francis Klugman, chairman Hugh Thompson, and principal Chris Jack in one of the current classrooms at the school.

Moreton Bay Birali Steiner School principal Chris Jack said the new

Caboolture's Gymbaroo focuses on creating clever little kids

EARLY LEARNING: After two-and-a-half year old Alex flourished in GymbaROO, a program focused on advancing early development through play, his mum Penelope decided to start up a local group.

Alex's mum Penelope is on the cusp of opening her own Gymbaroo group

Classic car auction draws buyers from US, Dubai

"He wants everyone to enjoy the cars, the collection got too big'

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E3 - Which picnic date is better?

The Bachelorette Georgia Love, centre, with her top 11 bachelors.

Lee and Matt get some one-on-one time with Georgia.

Homer Simpson thanks Australia during Opera House visit

Homer Simpson visits the Sydney Opera House.

ANIMATION favourite gets attacked by seagulls in viral video.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state