Covid, hospital visits, seizures and vision impairment have caused Elijah Lowe to miss out on a lot – especially birthday parties. To help him make up for lost time, Satan’s Little Helper put on a bash for him and his family
Elijah didn’t have the start to life his parents Shane and Kristy were expecting after a lack of oxygen at birth left him with a brain injury.
“He had some seizures right after birth and had to be sedated for a week in the neonatal intensive care unit. The area in his brain most affected is the part that processes vision. He’s classed as legally blind, but the thing that impacts him most is his epilepsy.”
After his initial hospitalisation, Kristy says things were going well with Elijah until he turned five.
“All of a sudden, he developed epilepsy. The past 18 months have been about trying to deal with that.”
Struggling for answers
Specialists have been left scratching their heads. Elijah has been on several different medications, but none have stopped the daily seizures.
“He’s had a few allergic reactions to his meds. Some of his reactions were behavioural and turned him into an aggressive kid, who we didn’t recognise. Some interfered with his sleep; others gave him a rash and fever.”
On top of that, Elijah has had one thing that all kids love taken away from him – birthday parties.
“He’s had a bad run of birthdays,” explains his mum. “We lost our house and contents in the 2017 Edgecumbe floods, which happened a month before his first birthday. We went out for the day and never came home.”
Other birthdays have fallen on days where he has had specialist appointments, or plans have been disrupted due to unavoidable outside influences. Kristy says that when Covid scrapped plans for his sixth birthday, she was “close to giving up”.
“We spent a lot of time in Starship Hospital, trying to get on top of his seizures. Last year was just a bit flat for the whole family.”
Deserves to celebrate
So, what could be done to lift them and give Elijah the party he deserves? Simply, Satan’s Little Helper threw him a belated birthday bash!
A location near Whakatane was booked and a local musician organised to provide the tunes, while family rolled in from all over the country.
“My mum and sister came from New Plymouth, an aunt came up from Wellington, and my brother came in from Tauranga,” says Kristy.
“We have friends here that haven’t met our family, so it was really neat to see everyone meet each other, plus the weather was beautiful.”
Surrounded by those he loves, and with plenty of cake and music to lift spirits, Kristy says Elijah had a great day.
“When the music started, he was straight up to the speaker and started dancing and rolling on the ground, which he loves. He was all over the cake too.
“It was the best time we’ve had for ages! The poor little thing hasn’t had much to smile about recently, so to see him having such a great time was amazing for everyone.”