Tazzlin’s story

December 29, 2016 | By Toni Calliva

Patient: Tazzlin Maarman

Age: 11 years old
Ward: ICU
Date: 1 November 2016

Tazzlin is the most wonderful, confident and articulate young girl who lights up a room with her infectious smile. This 11-year-old is a true survivor who has fought through a challenging medical journey, never losing hope or giving up on her positive spirit.

When Tazzlin was a toddler, her parents noticed that her one leg was shorter than the other. Although she was still able to walk, her condition worsened as she became older and was no longer able to attend school. In 2015, at the age of 10, Tazzlin underwent surgery to correct the discrepancy in her leg length. The surgery was a success and Natasha, her mother was overjoyed when Tazzlin was able to return to her normal day-to-day life.
However, this did not last long, as she soon started showing very unusual symptoms.

“In June she went completely numb all over her body and could not move her arms, head or legs,” Natasha explains.
Tazzlin was immediately sent to the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital where the doctors diagnosed a rare spinal cord disease which caused her legs to appear uneven, as well as paralysis.

As a result of her rare disease, Tazzlin has severe difficulty breathing, as her respiratory muscles were weakened. She was placed on a ventilator in the newly upgraded Intensive Care Unit (ICU), which regulated her breathing patterns and helped her to breath.The emotional impact on Natasha as a mother was devastating. She had to witness her child’s suffering, but was happy that Tazzlin was in the care of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital doctors and nurses.

After a month in hospital, Tazzlin underwent successful surgery and is currently in a stable condition and improving daily. For Natasha, it is emotionally reaffirming to see Tazzlin moving her arms and hands again. She is happy that her little girl is back to being her talkative self.
“She tells me all the time ‘mommy, I am not sick anymore’,” says the very relieved mom.