Matisse's return postponed

By Amy Shanks

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Chronically ill Napier girl Matisse Reid's Bay homecoming has been cancelled due to health complications.

Just five days before Christmas, which also marked Matisse's 12th birthday, the Reids were dealt a devastating, blow, her grandmother Kathy Hands said.

"Matisse started having [transplant] rejection issues on December 20, their belongings had already been sent home in a container, so they were sitting there with a suitcase each and nothing else.

"We are pretty crushed, everyone was so looking forward to [their return], the whole extended family."

Matisse underwent a stomach, duodenum, pancreas, small and large bowel transplant in December 2010 after being born with a rare disease called chronic pseudo intestinal obstruction, which meant she was unable to eat and had to be fed through a tube.

In 2007 the Reid family packed up their Napier home and moved to Pittsburgh, USA, to wait in line for the much-needed operation. Their flight to New Zealand was set to arrive early this week, nearly six years to the day since they left.

On December 21, Jodee Reid shared the bad news of her daughter's mild rejection with family, friends and followers in an online blog post.

Results of a biopsy, which returned on Christmas Day revealed the rejection was still present and Matisse would not be discharged from hospital to celebrate the holidays.

"Thankfully [her] treatment schedule is now 12 hourly so she was granted a day pass to come home for Xmas/Birthday - better than nothing," Jodee wrote.

After 11 long days in hospital and many ups and downs - physical and emotional - Matisse made progress and was able to go home on Sunday before returning for a biopsy on Monday which has given her the all clear.

"Now we start weaning one of Matisse's high doses of steroids. They will keep her other two immune suppression drugs up at this point to try to prevent further rejection.

"Unfortunately due to this rejection and earlier rejection Matisse is at high risk and will always be at risk so it is something we need to pay very special attention to."

A prolonged stay in the US meant Matisse and family had to renew their visas and stay behind in the home they were supposed to have vacated on December 31.

However, they remained positive and looked upon early detection of the rejection as a blessing.

"We are grateful that we caught this before we left Pittsburgh for many reasons ...

"Everything is being done to try to prevent another rejection but at the same time you run the risk of causing other factors that can threaten Matisse's health and life - it is a fine balance."

No set date had been decided for a return to Hawke's Bay, but they would have that discussion if Matisse showed no sign of rejection after another biopsy in two weeks time.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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