Kayla Horan’s Story
In eight years Kayla Horan has endured more than any person should in a lifetime. Through supporting the Captain Courageous Foundation, Mum and Dad can look forward to one day being able to tell Kayla everything will be okay.
We took Kayla to hospital with severe anaemia at 10 weeks of age. After receiving a blood transfusion and a bone marrow aspirate, soon afterwards she was diagnosed with DBA.
For the next three years, Kayla relied on steroids to stimulate her bone marrow to produce the red blood cells she needed to survive. This treatment was by no means easy, with side-effects including stomach issues, rapid weight gain and stunted growth. It became clear it was not an effective long-term option, so she was switched to monthly blood transfusions. By age eight Kayla has received over 60 transfusions, meaning she must also take medication twice daily to rid her body of the excess iron that the life-saving red blood cells contain.
Kayla is such a brave and emotionally mature little girl for what she has endured and still goes through every day. As a parent, one of the most heartbreaking things is not being able to tell her everything will be okay. We want to be able to reassure our children that we will always keep them safe, allay all their fears and make everything better. We can’t do that for Kayla, but we can support Captain Courageous. This brings us hope: hope that through research we’ll find a future cure and safer treatment options; and hope that one day we’ll be able to tell Kayla that the future is much brighter.