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Midwife Presented with Shining Star

Newsdate: 14 December 2012

A midwife from Wigan’s Maternity Ward at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary has had a very special gift given to her from the family of a baby she helped to deliver. Midwife Lee Ashworth has been presented with a star in the Andromeda galaxy by Tanya Brindle on behalf of her daughter, Paige. Paige was born in June 2011, and Lee was the midwife who helped to diagnose Paige with an unusual disorder; Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia – Sodium Losing Form or 21 Hydroxylation Deficiency. Pictured Left to Right; Rachel Evans (Family Adviser), Terry Brindle, Lee Ashworth (Midwfie), Tanya Brindle, Paige Brindle and Jade Roberts

21-Hydroxylation Deficiency is an inherited disorder that affects the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and produce a variety of hormones that regulate many essential functions in the body. In people with 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency, the adrenal glands produce excess androgens. The Salt Losing Form, which is the deficiency that Paige suffers from, is the more severe form of 21 Hydroxylase Deficiency as there is a total, or near total, deficiency of the enzyme. This means that the body is unable to produce any aldosterone and cortisol. The diminished cortisol levels lead to low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and the absence of aldosterone causes a loss of salt (sodium) and water from the body. Treatment for infants may benefit from some amounts of salt being added to the diet until they begin to eat “adult” food which contains a higher salt content.

Representatives from CLIMB (Children Living with Inherited Metabolic Diseases) came to the Maernity Ward with Tanya, Paige and her family to present Lee with a framed certificate and astrological chart showing where the star is located as a way of appreciation for her vigilance and support that she gave to the family at one of their hardest times. The family have since raised over £4000 for the charity, with one of their fundraising activities being a 16 miles sponsored walk from Hindley to Rivington, in Bolton and back. Over 80 people took part in the walk, which took 6 hours to complete.

Lee, wanted to thank the family for their generous gift to her; “I really am over the moon that Tanya and her family wanted to present the star to me. I feel so proud, but I was simply doing my job. I wasn’t expecting to find the problems that we did find with Paige, but she is now doing fantastically well. I’ve kept in touch with the family and I get regular updates on Paige’s progress.”

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