LITTLE LACIE: Girl's mystery illness finally diagnosed
IT'S been over four agonising months of waiting and hoping for answers and now, Lacie Christensen's family have been given a diagnosis on the mystery illness that has ravaged their sick little girl.
The two-year-old, who first made headlines in March, had been through hell and back suffering with an unknown sickness that left doctors in Bundaberg and Brisbane stumped to what her condition could be.
Lacie's hair began drastically falling out in January this year which was then followed by fevers, night sweats and rapid health deterioration.
The family spent weeks in and out of hospitals and turned to forums and the media to ask for help to figure out what was happening to their daughter.
Now, Lacie's mother Sarah Daley said news had finally come of the mystery sickness- with a diagnoses of Alopecia Universalis.
"Mothers and the public continued to message me giving me the query of Alopecia," Ms Daley said.
"I chased up a Telehealth appointment with the Lady Cilento Dermatologists and (we) got an Alopecia Universalis diagnosis."
Although the exact cause of AU is unknown, it is thought to be an autoimmune condition in which the person's immune system mistakenly attacks the hair follicles.
"It's unfortunately the worst of Alopecia conditions meaning she will lose every single hair on her body," Ms Daley said.
"She will also have it for the rest of her life and it can be triggered by stress or illness, something very upsetting to hear when she is just two years old with her whole life ahead."
Ms Daley said while she was feeling grateful a diagnoses had now been made, it had been a long wait for answers and the journey ahead would also be a difficult one.
"Since Lacie's last article in the NewsMail, we spent about a month just waiting for an outpatient Paediatric appointment to continue investigations," she said.
"Lacie continued to lose hair and has now lost all her eyelashes, eyebrows, body hair and almost all her scalp hair."
Ms Daley said the diagnoses had finally come about even after major blood tests could not give an accurate reading.
"Lacie had a huge blood test taken to cover a wide variety of nutrition/vitamin deficiency as well as viruses and more," she said.
"I was so confident we'd get to the bottom of it with a long list like that and was told we'd have to wait six weeks to get the results.
"We found out all the bloods had come back and were normal so left feeling a bit disappointed."
Ms Daley said now AU had been listed as Lacie's condition, the family were working to get her specific treatment.
"Moving forward she needs to see the dermatologists face to face again in Brisbane and we are waiting for that appointment to travel down," she said.
"I've also consulted a naturopath who has been amazing and we hope she will show improvement from his alternatives.
"I have found out about trichologists who are basically dermatologists who specialise in hair and scalp.
"One in Sydney has stood out to me as he specialises in children's hair loss and auto-immune conditions affecting the scalp."
Ms Daley said she had created a GoFundMe page to help get Lacie the treatment she needs.
She said so many people had offered their help and guidance regarding Lacie's illness.
"We would like to give a shout out to Bundaberg Paediatricians and nurses for all their ongoing care, the local naturopath for help with alternatives and so many more people who have shown concern and care for Lacie by reaching out with their own stories and trying to help get to the bottom of her illness," Ms Daley said.
"We are feeling very relieved it's nothing life threatening but at the same time every parent wishes for a healthy child who will have a easy life and Lacie's might unfortunately be a little bit more difficult."
To help Lacie with her ongoing treatment, donate here.