Name change 'cured' baby
A SIMPLE name change is being heralded as the miracle cure for a baby who was suffering from a rare brain disease, but a medical specialist disagrees.
Name analyst Peter Vaughan was called by the Auckland girl's desperate parents after their newborn started having seizures days after her birth and on his advice changed her name from Kendyl Louise to Mylee Jay - a move he says saved her life.
A few weeks after the name change Mylee's seizures stopped and her brain patterns returned to normal.
"It did change her life. I just know that it happened from that," said Mr Vaughan, who has used his analysis skills on television series Sensing Murder.
But paediatric neurologist Dr Rakesh Patel, who treated Mylee, said there was no possible link between her name change and improved condition.
The girl's parents Jasmine and Nick Platt are unsure if their daughter's improved health was completely due to her name change but believed it helped and would "do it all again a heartbeat", said Mrs Platt.
"We believe the name change made a difference, but we're not sure that it's the whole picture. I look at it as a piece of the puzzle."
Their daughter was born on January 19 last year and appeared to be a healthy baby.
They named her Kendyl - a name they liked, but never felt quite right, said Mrs Platt.
Within two weeks Kendyl suddenly started having violent seizures - about 50 the first day - and her terrified parents rushed her to Starship Hospital, where she was diagnosed with rare brain condition early myoclonic encephalopathy (EME).
There is no known cause for the rare condition that affected "a handful" of children each year, who are typically given medication to control the seizures, said Dr Patel.
"The prognosis was basically a vegetable or dead. At that point my life went to black," said Mrs Platt.
Told there was no cure and with medication having little effect, Kendyl's desperate parents called Mr Vaughan to see if a name change could help their sick daughter.
He quickly found the combination of the name Kendyl and her birth date had a corrosive effect, because of "distractions between her name and her bodily functions", he said.
"I looked at Kendyl and went oh my god you've got a child that's in real trouble and it's a name that I would not have recommended."
Self-taught Mr Vaughan uses numerological graphs to map a person's life using their birthdate and the "harmonics" of their name.
Working through a list of alternative names the parents liked, by February last year they finally settled on Mylee - a much more compatible name for the child, he said.
Two months later she had her last seizure.
"The neurologist rang us with the results when she was normalised and said she was a miracle baby," said Mrs Platt.
While their daughter has delayed physical and mental development, her long term prognosis is far better than was ever expected.
Dr Patel was delighted at Mylee's improved condition, but said her name change had nothing to do with it.
"That's pretty hopeful thinking. We would say it's coincidental.
"There is a small group that do recover so she's obviously one of those individuals," he said.
Mrs Platt cannot imagine her daughter being called anything else.
"She's an angel - she's soft and gentle and this bundle of joy. She was not Kendyl, she's Mylee."