ifhqa · 2021-01-18

Baby girl fighting serious immune system problem

The congregation at The Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd in Stayner is rallying behind a local family that attends the church and asking that others in the community do the same.

Brygette Park, the one-year-old daughter of Warrington Road residents Penny Lambert, 39, and Trevor Park, 36, is battling what appears to be some type of immune system problem.

Born at Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie in December 2007, the little girl returned to the hospital at just five days old because she was dehydrated and lethargic.

Eight days later she was discharged but the next day returned to RVH with what turned out to be rotavirus. She was then in and out of hospital in Barrie throughout the month of January 2008 and at the end of the month went to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto with meningitis.

Since then Brygette, a beautiful girl with golden blonde hair and blue eyes, has battled a number of infections, including periorbital celulitis, an infection in the eyes and skin.

Her mother says that several tests have been done to find out what’s causing the little girl so many problems but so far doctors have been unsuccessful in making a diagnosis.

She says Brygette currently suffers from ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and inflammation on her hips.

In total, Brygette has been admitted to hospital 11 times and spent – off and on – about six months at The Hospital for Sick Children. The most recent stay was from Dec. 19 to Jan. 30.

“It’s been exhausting – terrifying. You’re just so afraid for her because of what she’s going through,” Lambert said.

She said the girl’s doctors are consulting with physicians in the United States and are awaiting the results of genetic testing to see if they shed any light on what’s wrong.

With so much time spent at The Hospital for Sick Children the family has found things financially tough – especially since December when Lambert’s maternity benefits came to an end.

The licensed insurance agent, who is employed at State Farm in Barrie, has not returned to work yet because she needs to care for her daughter.

Her husband is self-employed as a home renovator but with only him working their finances are tight, she said.

And then there’s the expensive cost of the special food Brygette needs due to a milk allergy. The formula is called Neocate and it costs $45 a can. Brygette goes through one can a day.

If it weren’t for the help and support of family and friends, Lambert said she doesn’t know what they’d do.

She said her mother, Doris Waddell, has moved in with them to help care for Brygette.

The Church of the Good Shepherd has offered prayers and recently set up a trust account for the family at the TD-Canada Trust branch in Stayner.

Gren Bray, a member at the church, said he encourages people in town to financially help the family if possible.

He said the church is planning a special music night, at which a free will offering for the family will be collected. A date for the event, however, hasn’t been set. Bray said it will likely be in the next few weeks though.

“They’re a part of our church family and we need to do what we can to help,” he said.

Meanwhile, friends of the family have organized what’s being dubbed the Baby B.O.P. (Brygette Olivia Park) Fundraiser at The Five Restaurant on Dunlop Street in Barrie. The event is Thurs., March 26 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $25 and available through Brygette’s parents. There will be several live musical acts performing. Lambert plays guitar in a band called Gearl Jam and it’s among the groups slated to perform that night.  

For tickets to the event call 428-5452.