Helping hand from CWA
AN UNDIAGNOSED genetic syndrome means Kiara-Ann Brugnatti can't support her own weight, let alone care for herself.
Kiara's condition causes her to suffer from uncontrolled movement throughout her body, and her mother Helen explained the day-to-day difficulties Kiara's condition causes.
"She can't sit up or roll over ... she can't even sit on the couch without toppling over," Mrs Brugnatti said.
Kiara is eight years old and can only support her own weight for a matter of seconds.
She suffers from a neurodevelopment disorder called microcephaly, which means she has a very small head size.
"She eats pureed food like a six-month-old baby and we have to use food thickener in all her drinks, otherwise she'll aspirate."
Kiara is in Year Three, and is in the special education unit at Grafton Public School. She has seizures and drinks from a special blue sippy cup.
Though Kiara cannot speak, maternal instinct means Helen is able to communicate with her daughter.
"I just know what she wants... I can't explain how though," she said.
"Looking after Kiara involves a lot of lifting to move her around," Mrs Brugnatti said.
Kiara's future holds a lot of uncertainty and only time will tell if she will ever be able to walk.
"I'd be happy if she could just sit on the couch by herself one day," Mrs Brugnatti said.
The CWA North Coast Group heard about Kiara and her condition 12 months ago and has taken her under their wing in a bid to make life easier for Helen and the family.
"We always have an adoptee in the North Coast area; we were looking for somebody who could do with some assistance," said CWA North Coast Group secretary Anna Bransdon.
The CWA North Coast Group consists of 15 branches, and each branch donates money to the adoptee program. "We have helped to raise money for modifications to the family's Hiace van," Ms Bransdon said.
The CWA North Coast Group donated $1175 to Kiara's family to assist with the installation of wheel-chair anchor points in their vehicle.
CWA Members are hopeful that members of the public also will be able to assist.
Anyone who wishes to help can contact either group secretary Anna Bransdon on 6645 3218, or group president Trish Stabback on 6649 1486.