‘Mama’ and ‘Dada’ delighted Samburg youngster’s progress ‘amazing’
Posted: Monday, March 9, 2009 9:36 pm
By CHRIS MENEES
Messenger Staff Reporter
It’s not likely Kristi (Roberson) Hogg of Samburg will ever forget what 8-year-old daughter Mayci gave her last Christmas.
About two weeks before Christmas, she said “Mama.”
“I got my ‘mama.’ That was my Christmas present,” Mrs. Hogg said.
Mayci, the daughter of Mrs. Hogg and her husband, Richard Hogg, was born with a rare mitochondrial disorder that filled the first years of her young life with doctor visits, numerous medications and little hope for the future.
As a result, Mayci had low vision, could not walk or talk and was unable to communicate with her family. She had treatment for cataracts and a severe seizure disorder that had worsened, had a feeding tube placed and had many hospital visits because of viral infections and other types of sickness.
However, Mayci and her family received hope in June 2008 in the form of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which she began receiving at the state-of-the-art Integrative Hyperbaric Center — known as “A Place of Grace” — in Wisconsin.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a specialized therapy that uses an increase in atmospheric pressure to allow the body to incorporate more oxygen into blood cells, blood plasma, cerebral-spinal fluid and other body fluids.
After receiving her initial therapy at the Wisconsin facility, Mayci returned home and continued her HBOT regimen in a special portable home chamber. She is scheduled to return to the Wisconsin clinic for some in-house treatment that will begin March 16 and continue through April 10.
Since beginning HBOT, May-ci’s progress has been amazing, according to Mrs. Hogg.
“She’s still seizure-free and her vision has improved to the point where she’s starting to watch TV,” she told The Messenger Friday. “She was only tracking things that were lighted and now she can see my finger and track completely right to left. She’s seeing birds in the yard and watching them fly. We know she’s got a depth perception of 20 to 25 feet.”
Plus, Mayci is starting to verbalize — a remarkable achievement the Hoggs realized when she first said “Mama” in mid-December. Mrs. Hogg said Mayci has also said “dada,” much to the delight of her husband, as well as “bird,” “bear,” “hi,” “duck” and “ball.”
She has gained nine pounds since last September — although Mrs. Hogg said she needs to gain about 20 more — and is doing well with a new gluten-free, casein-free diet and a regimen of vitamins and minerals.
Mayci’s energy level has improved, which means she no longer takes three or four naps a day and is able to stay up longer to play or do therapy. Throughout the day, she does about an hour’s worth of hyperbarics, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and vision therapy.
Keeping up with Mayci
Mrs. Hogg said Mayci’s West Tennessee Cares Web site — www.westtennesseecares.org — is still up and running so the community can continue to track Mayci’s progress through video, photos and journal posts from Mrs. Hogg. It includes a link to a CaringBridge site that allows visitors to sign a guest book and stay in personal contact with the family.
“We’ve had over 40,000 visitors,” Mrs. Hogg said. “We’ve also started a Facebook cause and have a Facebook page. You can type in a cause and type in Mayci’s Miracle Fund. We’ve gotten over 1,000 members within three weeks.”
Fund-raising efforts are also continuing, with some events to be scheduled this summer, and Mayci’s Miracle Fund T-shirts are still available through the Web site. Mrs. Hogg said the family would appreciate any help with fundraising efforts from area businesses or church groups.
“Our family wants to thank everybody in the community,” Mrs. Hogg said. “Richard and I, our whole entire family, thank everybody who has still asked about Mayci and shown support. Please pray for us while we’re gone and continue to show support.”
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 3.9.09