POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Sabriel, Kyla-Maree, Lachlan, and baby Florence. Florence has a metabolic disorder called glutaric acidemia type II that interferes with the body's ability to break down proteins and fats to produce energy.
POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Sabriel, Kyla-Maree, Lachlan, and baby Florence. Florence has a metabolic disorder called glutaric acidemia type II that interferes with the body's ability to break down proteins and fats to produce energy. Rob Williams

Tiny Flo's lifelong fight

LITTLE baby Florence put an awful scare through poor mum and dad when she battled to keep her food down during the first week of her life.

The tiny three-month-old has not enjoyed the smoothest start to her innings, with doctors diagnosing a rare condition known as glutaric acidemia.

Unable to process fats and proteins, Florence has to take a special energy and carbohydrate-rich formula that her parents mix up for her every day.

She also has feeding tubes permanently inserted via her nose and into a vein in her chest.

With another girl to look after in 18-month-old Sabriel, it keeps Kyla and Lachlan's hands full, but the Ipswich couple is just happy to have been able to find out what was wrong with little Florence.

Florence has a metabolic disorder called Glutaric acidemia type II that interferes with the body's ability to break down proteins and fats to produce energy. She has a PICC line attached to her which is used for long-term intravenous (IV) antibiotics, nutrition or medications, and for blood draws. it is attached directly to the large vein that carries blood into the heart.
Florence has a metabolic disorder called Glutaric acidemia type II that interferes with the body's ability to break down proteins and fats to produce energy. She has a PICC line attached to her which is used for long-term intravenous (IV) antibiotics, nutrition or medications, and for blood draws. it is attached directly to the large vein that carries blood into the heart. Rob Williams

"They diagnosed her at one week old," Kyla said.

"Leading up to that, we knew something was seriously wrong because she wasn't keeping down food and she was losing weight.

"For that first week, all they kept telling us was that there was an anomaly, but we did not know what that even meant."

A series of tests confirmed Florence was suffering from a more serious non-congenital form of glutaric acidemia type 2. The condition will stay with her for life and can only be managed through an altered diet, but mum and dad remain hopeful she will still live a normal life and, in the not-too distant future, be able to manage independently.

Needless to say, Florence's illness has thrown the family a curve-ball that has forced them to reconsider a few of their plans.

"It has been very difficult for Lachlan and I but we enjoy very good support from people around us," Kyla said.

"When Lachlan and I got married, we said we were going to have a big family; now that we have had Florence we have been told there is a one-in-four chance of having another baby with the condition, so with any future pregnancy we will have to undergo a special in utero test."

Glutaric Acidemia

Disorder interferes with body's ability to break down proteins and fats.

These can build up in the body and cause the blood and tissues to become too acidic

In severe cases it can be life-threatening, and babies can be born with physical abnormalities



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