The second life of Melody and Frederique
Little Melody no longer has a stomach ache. Chronic septic granulomatous disease, a rare genetic disease that in her case attacked her digestive system, but especially her intestines, the four-year-old girl is now doing very well. She had a bone marrow transplant last March, the only cure for the disease. His younger sister, Frederique, also affected by the mysterious evil, went through the same ordeal. The Daily met the two youngsters and their mother, Jennifer Côté, six months after the operation and the chemotherapy treatments.
In January, The Daily told the story of the little Melody, who complained, since she was able to talk, violent stomach pains. The child was struggling to go to the bathroom, had no energy and suffered daily. Her mother, Jennifer Côté, had learned that her older daughter had chronic septic granulomatous disease. Only the bone marrow transplant could cure it.
His younger sister, Frederique, was doing well, but medical tests showed that she had also inherited this defective gene. The specialists advised Jennifer Côté to have her two girls undergo the transplant at the same time, as hard months were preparing. After the transplant, the children had to undergo chemotherapy and be in solitary confinement for several days at the hospital. The following months were also very difficult, since Mélody and Frédérique had to stay quietly at home, could not attend the daycare or any public place elsewhere.
It was March 22 that little Mélody had her marrow transplant. Chemotherapy treatments followed for 10 days.
“For Melo, the transplant was really miraculous, since she was sick for a long time and for her, the treatments were not very painful, because she was already used to go wrong. His system went back to nine, it was like a rebirth. For Fred, it was really difficult. She had the disease, but was asymptomatic (the symptoms could have appeared as she got older). So for her, the transplant and the chemo have really put her down. She was very sick. It’s no longer the same girl, “says the mother, who even regretted the transplant at some point. “Let’s say that seeing her like that, no longer wanting to be able to play, to see her crying like that, I did not recognize her anymore. Even today, she is more embarrassed, she cries more easily.
It was on April 11 that Frédérique underwent her transplant. In all, the two little girls were hospitalized in Montreal for about two months. Since Melody was able to go home earlier, since she had been operated on before her sister, Frédérique stayed 20 days in hospital. “I had to go back to La Baie with Melo. My mother and my aunt, Marie-Claude and Nathalie, took care of Frédérique there. This separation was very hard for her and for me too, “says Jennifer Côté.
Little girls have lost their hair because of chemotherapy. They still have to take anti-rejection medication. Their food is scrutinized with a magnifying glass. “I had to throw everything away and start all over again. For example, mayonnaise, ketchup, spices, flour, everything. We still have to boil everything they eat, even the fruit. For several weeks, they had to take 12 doses of syrup a day. It was an endless fight. I have tasted it myself and I can tell you that it was disgusting! Let’s say that the last six months have been very exciting! “, Launches the mother, while the little ones have fun in the trampoline.
Energetic, the girls confirm to the Daily reporter that they love to jump and have fun. “I do not have a stomach ache anymore! And it was my birthday yesterday! “, Launches little Mélody, who turned four on Wednesday.
“They spend their time quibbling, it’s a good sign, they are in shape! “Says Jennifer Côté, laughing. Obviously, it’s a relief for her to see her daughters having fun like this. “I’ve never seen Melody play like that, it’s really miraculous,” notes the mother.
At the first interview with Le Quotidien, which took place in January, the baby slept on the couch, exhausted. She said she always hurt behind the navel.
Their hair is starting to grow back and there are fewer doses of medicine, just like hospital appointments. “They still have to stay at home for a while. I think I will start working after Christmas when they can go to daycare. Since the transplant, I’m with them 24 hours a day and a chance that I had the help of my family, otherwise, I would not have left, “says Jennifer Côté.
Moreover, a GoFundMe and a fundraising evening had allowed the mother to have financial support. Otherwise she does not know how she could have arrived. “I would have gone bankrupt and I would live in the basement of my parents! “Launches Jennifer Côté, thanking all those who contributed to the healing of Mélody and Frédérique. Because chronic septic granulomatosis is a thing of the past.