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Discover Newcastle, Ophir, Penryn

Caring for Caitlyn

By: Susie Brown
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The family moved to California when Caitlyn was 2 years old, first living in Grass Valley for a time before moving to Auburn. As junior high school rolled around she was excited to be attending Newcastle Charter School, she loved it there and was doing well.

Kyle, her father is a registered nurse at San Juan Mercy Hospital in Fair Oaks, and Mom, Mary works in Roseville for an insurance company.

Life took a nasty turn for this family on a planned trip to San Francisco, Caitlyn was asleep in her mom’s lap when she suddenly awoke and felt very bad, dizzy and weak. She was not able to steady herself, she fell, hitting her head on a concrete wall. They transported her to Concord Hospital where they decided she had suffered a seizure, perhaps it was epilepsy. She recalls on the drive home, they stopped at Del Taco (I just love that place, I always order two fish tacos, with their really good sauce).

Her health problems continued resulting in numerous seizures, many doctor appointments, tests, and meds, but she told me, we were all getting through it with the help of their family and members of their Gold Country Church.

This family is very strong in their faith, and it shows. Things were not improving and her brain activity continued to the point she was no longer able to attend school, missing the entire semester. At this point it was determined to admit her to U.S Davis hospital Sacramento for two weeks and perhaps put her in an induced medical coma for a four-day period. When she came out, unfortunately, it resulted in Bell’s palsy (which cleared up in time). Now this is Wednesday one day before graduation, but this child and her family wanted so very much for her to graduate with her class, she was released from the hospital. Mary arranged for a hair appointment, and Thursday evening her Kyle, at her side helping her walk down the stairs, there they came. The entire crowd stood to their feet and the clapping continued for a long time. Everyone was so proud of her and she did it. She  also received the "Rose Colored Classes" award. Things began to improve, with the help of a number of meds, and many supplements, she takes between  40 to 50 pills plus liquids daily, quite a chore for a teenager. After a time and genetic testing she was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease. Life is moving along for her, she is a freshman at Del Oro High School, (she has a lighter schedule taking three out of the five classes daily). Loves her school, active in youth groups, wearing new braces, and is a sweet and mature person.

The interview between she and I took a delightful turn when she began talking about Daisy, her new puppy, (large puppy I would say, born in November, her full name is Princess Victoria of Newcastle, on old English sheep dog. “There is a double meaning about this puppy,” she told me, “my Dad would tell me stories, how much he loved and cared for his old English sheep dog as a kid. My dog brought me much joy and happiness.”

I want you, Caitlyn to have the same. I guess it is a family affair now, with Daisy. We wish this family the very best, they now reside in the lovely and special community of Chantry Hill, Newcastle.

Susie Brown is a Newcastle resident.