From eating illness to kitchen whizz

By Jolene Williams

Matisse Reid has been learning to eat since a double organ transplant last year, now the plucky 10-year-old has started a food blog and taken over the family's kitchen.
Napier girl Matisse was born with a rare intestinal condition and, unable to digest food, had to be fed intravenously. A transplant in Pittsburgh last year enabled Matisse to begin a life of eating without pain.
But the transplant brought a whole new range of medical issues and there were still countless hospital visits, daily medication and tube feeds.
Her suppressed immune system meant she was, as yet, unable to attend school.
Matisse had been making the most of being at home by starting a blog called "Matisse's Kitchen" where she uploaded recipes, photos and wrote about her adventures in the kitchen.
Matisse had always shown an interest in food but was unable to eat without pain and having her stomach syringed.
On her eighth birthday she held a cooking party and mimed eating while her friends dug into the homemade pizza and cookies. Mother Jodee Reid said her daughter became a "master of deception". "She will imitate nibbling and will appear to bite and swallow. But if you look closely you will see it is all an act and the small act of taking a few minuscule nibbles causes her a night filled with pain."
Matisse hoped to own a restaurant one day and wrote: "I'm only a kid but I've got a lot to say about cooking".
Mrs Reid said her daughter had a sophisticated palate.
She nibbled on calamari for her first "meal" following her transplant and on her blog Matisse wrote: "I hate junk food esp MD's".
Mrs Reid said her daughter was doing well, although she was still getting used to the fact that eating would not hurt afterwards.

To visit Matisse's blog go to:

- Hawkes Bay Today

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