Monday, November 16, 2009

4 year-old Shira Fisher is terminally ill in the news


VICTORIA - 4 year-old Shira Fisher is terminally ill with Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. Her parents were told she had months to live, when Shira was first diagnosed four years ago. But the young girl continues to defy the odds.

Her parents, Brad and Maxine, have become advocates for Shira and other SMA kids. Last week, they were told their application to get Shira a vaccine to fight out RSV (a virus that attacks the respiratory sytem) was denied. Shira has twice beeen hospitalized with RSV and both times nearly died.

Her parents believe the vaccine can keep Shira out of the intensive care unit this winter. The Fishers contacted A News and within 48 hours, BC Children's Hospital announced its vaccine protocol for the province would include children with SMA who are under 15 kilograms. Shira now qualifies and was given her first set of anti-RSV shots today.

The Fishers believe Shira's original rejection was over money - the vaccine costs about $8,000 and they worry about other families with special needs children won't fight the system to ensure quality care.

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