Sienna needs your help

The public is encouraged to help make a difference in the life of six-year-old Sienna Skye Reddy.

A former Chatsworth mother is appealing for funds to ensure that her six-year-old daughter, who is diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder and dyspraxia, undergoes her second stem cell surgery in India.

Six-year-old Sienna Skye Reddy, who is a child bursting with energy and full of smiles, was diagnosed at 18-months-old. A special pamper day will be held on Wednesday, November 22 and a raffle will also take place.

Prizes will include weekend away for two adults at a Tsogo Sun Hotel, a Hewletter Packard Tote laptop bag and an Amazon Fire Tablet.

Sienna’s mother, Rishika said, “At the time, it concerned us when she still didn’t answer to her own name. She would start to scream and cry hysterically for hours on end in such pain that nothing could soother her. Sadly, very little has changed. Sienna is non-verbal. She has not spoken yet. The dyspraxia she suffers from makes it even more difficult for her to gain speech.”

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However, the family has been researching stem cell replacement therapy, which is a procedure where stem cells are taken from the child’s bone marrow in the hip and injected into the spinal fluid to reach her brain. These cells then start to rebuild and repair any damaged cells in the brain.

This procedure and method is only done in four countries across the world thus far, one of them being India, which is where they wish to take Sienna.

Sienna underwent the first stem cell procedure in Mumbai, India in July. After which, her family noticed an improvement in her concentration.

“I have to stress that this is by no means a cure for autism. We are not searching for a cure. All we want is for our little girl to have a sense of well-being in this life. After her surgery, the frequency and duration of meltdowns have decreased. Self-stimulation behaviour has decreased. Her eye contact has improved and she understands a lot more now as well. Sadly, the brain PET scans that were done have shown that Sienna has hypoxia of the brain as well,” added the concerned mother.

She explained that this basically means that her brain is being starved of oxygen thereby damaging brain cells and tissue. This has affected the prefrontal lobe (behaviour, attention and concentration), Thalamus (sensory defence), Medial Temporal Lobe (social interaction, emotions and feelings and memory), Cerebellum (speech, eye contact focus and relaying messages to different parts of the brain).

“We cannot do this alone. We need help from each and every one to make this a reality. A small donation will go a long way in getting Sienna the help she needs. As a mother, I am pleading with you all to dig deep within and help my little angel find a little bit of peace within herself that she may be able to cope and overcome all that she has had to endure,” she concluded. For more information, send a WhatsApp message to 076-118-7182 or call 083-775-9495.

Bianca Lalbahadur

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