It has been 17 months since the Rowe family received a cerebral palsy diagnosis for their youngest child, beautiful and bubbly Mackenzie.

Now a gorgeous 21 month old, Mackenzie has been undergoing rehabilitation therapies since she was just three months of age. Her regular rehabilitation sessions will continue her entire life.  

Mackenzie represents the two-thirds of patients treated by Bendigo Health’s rehabilitation services for cerebral palsy. Mother, Melita, said that Mackenzie has come ‘leaps and bounds’ thanks to her rehabilitation “Our physiotherapist, Suzie, is all about the good and the bad, she really celebrates the milestones with us. Recently Mackenzie learned to point out things and Suzie really made a big deal about this seemingly small but really important achievement.

Mackenzie’s birth was a difficult one, with a placental abruption restricting little Mackenzie’s breathing for 14 minutes. She was taken to the Royal Women's hospital in Melbourne only hours after her birth, meaning her parents were separated from their newborn almost immediately.

Nothing can prepare you for your newborn baby being airlifted to Melbourne, she experienced seizures for three days. We felt blindsided more than anything.” Said Melita.

What followed were emotional choices for the family, as Melita encouraged her partner to travel to Melbourne to be with their little girl, while she recovered in Bendigo as a bed for Melita was not available closer to her daughter.

After two weeks, gorgeous Mackenzie was able to return to Bendigo Health and only a few short days later to her family home and her loving family and big brother, Bentley.

Mackenzie has grown to be a cheeky, adorable toddler, who loves playing and spending time in the water. Hydrotherapy sessions to support her rehabilitation are something she clearly enjoys.

Making a donation to the Bendigo Health Christmas Appeal will help fund the redevelopment of the paediatric rehabilitation outpatients clinics, including a specific paediatric fitout of the new hydrotherapy pool that will help children just like Mackenzie get those most out of their rehab.

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