Daisy Deer’s Difficult Birth – Congenital Hypothyroidism

It was a beautiful day in August and two young deer called George and Tom were bouncing and hopping around in Sunshine Forest. They spent their summers discovering new areas of the forest and loved finding other animals to play with. The late afternoon sun broke through the trees and scattered light on them as they played. George and Tom’s watched on, making sure that they did not journey too far away.

‘Remember not to stray too far away from the den!’ She would shout.

Once George and Tom were tired and the sun was setting in the early autumn sky, they retreated back to the den and found mother and father deer making some food. It was their favourite, pecan nuts.

‘Great! I’m so hungry. Thank you, Mum!’ exclaimed George. Whilst they ate, Mother Deer said that she had some news for them.

‘George and Tom, you are going to have a baby sister. I’m pregnant and it’s going to be a little girl deer!’ She said, and waited for their response.

There was a moment’s silence as George and Tom both took in the news. Then they broke into wild celebrations and were at once very happy.

A few months later, Mother Deer was ready to give birth, and so Mother, Father, George and Tom went to the hospital down the road. There was a tall doctor called Doctor Badger who was in charge of making sure that Mother Deer and the new baby deer were happy. George and Tom had to wait outside but were hoping that everything was all right with their Mother and new baby. They waited and waited and eventually were let in to see their new baby sister!

Mother Deer held the baby and looked up at her sons as they entered the room.

‘Come and say hello to your new sister. She’s called Daisy’, she said.

George and Tom were awe-struck when they saw baby Daisy Deer, who was so small and looked so cosy wrapped up in lots of blankets. They all made their way home and Daisy was happy for the first few days sleeping and drinking milk at home.

However, over the next few days, Mother Deer realised that something wasn’t right. Daisy began to drink less milk than normal and seemed more tired. She also looked a little bit yellow, which Mother deer found very strange indeed. The Doctor Badger came over to see the baby and said that they needed to test some of the blood in Daisy’s heel on the bottom of her foot. He said that this was a test that they do to all baby deer and tests for a range of medical problems that babies might have. They put some of the blood on a card and sent it off to have some tests done on it

The results came back soon after, and Mother and Father deer were told that Daisy had a problem with a part of her body called the thyroid.

‘What’s the thyroid?’ asked Mother Deer.

‘The thyroid is part of the body that controls the body’s temperature and also helps with growth so we can grow up to be big and strong deer. It is found in the neck around your windpipe. When it doesn’t work properly in children it can lead to problems in growth and development of the brain. This can cause children to have problems learning about things later on in life and the body getting muddled and getting too hot or too cold.’ Doctor Badger explained.

Once the family heard this news, they were very worried about whether Daisy was going to be all right. George and Tom were sad for their baby sister, but thankfully Doctor Badger was able to calm them down and explain what was going to happen.

‘Daisy’s thyroid is not working enough and, so, is not producing enough thyroid juice to help her brain develop and grow. There are different causes for this, but it is just unlucky that it has happened and nothing that you as the mother have done wrong whilst you were pregnant. She will need to replace the thyroid juice using medication, but it’s is very easy and we can start right away!’ He told them.

The family went back into the hospital so the doctors could have a closer look at Daisy’s neck to inspect the thyroid and also start the medication that she needed.

‘As long as you give Daisy this thyroid replacement medication, she should be fine! You just need to make sure you give this medication to Daisy everyday and when she’s old enough, she can take it herself. If she ever misses a tablet of the thyroid juice, just take the next day’s tablet as normal and don’t take two to replace it. She will also need to come into the hospital to have blood tests done every so often. This tests the levels of thyroid juice and how well the thyroid is working. All of this will make sure that she grows up to be a clever and healthy deer. If Daisy doesn’t feel well or has any problems with the medication, then you should come back and see us as soon as you can!’ Badger told the family with a relaxed tone.

‘It all makes sense then’, said Mother Deer with a smile of relief on her face, ‘we just need to make sure she takes this medication and Daisy will be fine and just like all the other little deer!’

And so Daisy was able to go home on her new medication. She played with her brothers George and Tom each summer in the Forest and grew up to be a healthy deer!

William Southall


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