Ana-Carolina De Moraes Lobo Bircham’s name may sound familiar to you. She was diagnosed with a neurological disorder that left her paralyzed and unable to speak when she was only months old. She has been a permanent resident at Starship Hospital since her parents found out about her condition but on Thursday 1st August, she finally got to go home after nearly six years!
Her parents, Elane and Peter, have been relentlessly fighting to bring her home for years and after a long and bumpy road their dream has finally come true. It wasn’t an easy task due to Ana-Carolina’s complex condition. While she is perfectly sane of mind, she requires constant care which was the subject of many debates between her parents and Starship. The hospital said she had all the care necessary on-site and shouldn’t risk going out in the world but her parents believed growing up in a hospital was not a healthy environment given all the events that take place there.
The on-going care needed by Ana-Carolina is expensive and after spending their last savings the family turned to people’s generosity for help.
“It’s hard to ask for support, it’s not an easy thing for us to do to be honest,” says Elane
When Kiwi company DVS Home Ventilation heard about Ana-Carolina they did not hesitate for one second to support the family by giving them a ventilation system to ensure the little girl breathed good quality air in her new home. DVS also got Mitsubishi Electric on board who offered a heat pump to the family.
“We’re glad we could help, some people have it so tough. And we’re delighted Ana-Carolina is finally home,” says DVS Home Ventilation Director Peter Roberts.
Ana-Carolina’s immune system is weak and it’s important the environment she lives in is clean. The Mitsubishi Electric heat pump will keep the family warm during cold days and the DVS ventilation system will provide a dry and healthy home. The DVS pushes out the excess damp, moisture-filled air while introducing fresh filtered air into the home. It prevents things like crying windows, mould and mildew, ensuring a safe environment for Ana-Carolina.
“We’re so grateful for DVS’ kindness and generosity. We’ve never had a ventilation system before and we can clearly feel the difference in this house. It feels so much fresher,” says Elane
Elane and Peter hope Ana-Carolina can enrol in a mainstream school as soon as they find a teacher aid and a carer for her so she can enjoy life like other six-year-olds. As for Elane and Peter, they finally have the chance to live a ‘normal’ life and spend quality time with their daughter away from the ICU.
However, they’re not out of the woods yet as Ana-Carolina will require on-going support. A givealittle page has been set up for the little girl: