Join Maia for Bake it Better

Maia was born six weeks premature, weighing just 3lb 1oz. During her first weeks, whilst gaining strength in her local hospital, it was discovered that Maia had holes in her heart. Once she was well enough to move, Maia was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Doctors at GOSH performed interim heart surgery to help Maia with her breathing as well as her growth. As they began preparing for the operation, doctors at GOSH discovered that Maia also had a rare condition called long segment tracheal stenosis, or a narrowing of the trachea, which provides air to and from the lungs. 

A few days’ later surgeons performed a slide tracheoplasty, a pioneering surgery technique which shortens the trachea but makes it stronger – a technique developed at GOSH to widen the trachea and help children to breathe.

Life-changing care

Maia was then transferred to the hospital’s Cardiac Intensive Care Unit where she was put on to a ventilator until she stabilised. After six weeks at GOSH, Maia was transferred to Hitchingbrooke Hospital until she was strong enough to go home. Although it was hard for the family, her mum Meera says: “The care she received both at Hitchingbrooke and GOSH was fantastic. All the staff and volunteers at GOSH are so caring and so personable. They kept us in the loop at all times about how Maia was doing and what the next steps would be. Where in the world would you get care like this, we are so lucky in this country to have a place like GOSH to provide the care we needed for Maia.”

Five months later Maia returned to GOSH for more surgery, this time to repair the holes in her heart. After a further few weeks in hospital Maia recovered and was able to return home – finally free of the feeding tube that she’d had since birth. “The surgery changed Maia’s life – she was able to come off the tube feeding and started eating solid foods which she loved!”

Looking forward

Maia continues to have regular check-ups, scans and echocardiograms at GOSH, but that’s not stopping her from living the full and active life of an energetic three-year-old. “Maia is a really enthusiastic and happy little girl. If something is fun she will throw herself into it and have a go, and she loves dancing, gymnastics, athletics and swimming!”

“About a month ago she came out of the bath and she noticed the scars on her chest from her operation. She asked me and her dad what they were; this was a really emotional moment for us as she starts to understand and ask about her condition. We told her they are her beautiful scars. Both me and my husband have had our appendixes removed so we showed her our scars and now she thinks they’re totally normal. She even showed everyone at nursery. We are really proud of her.” 

Bake it Better

Meera hosted a Bake It Better bake sale at her work in 2016, before going on maternity leave with Maia’s little brother Kyan – and she’ll be doing another one this year too! “Everyone got involved, even the managers baked cakes to sell. We had so much fun, and in a busy work environment it really helps to bring it back to what really matters. We found so many have been touched in some way by GOSH and we raised £300, which was great!”

It’s time to get your bake on! Hold a bake sale this spring and support Great Ormond Street Hospital do extraordinary things by raising as much as dough as you can.

Sign me up!