Let me introduce you to Lani Matulino, the youngest daughter of Maryanne and Fred, and baby sister to Madison and Annika.
Lani started school this year as a bright and bubbly 5 year old who quickly adapted to school life (which she absolutely loved). On Wednesday 20 May 2020 while getting ready for school, Lani suffered an unexpected seizure. She was then rushed to Logan Hospital by ambulance with her worried parents by her side. From there, Lani’s illness escalated and she was transported to ICU at Queensland Children’s Hospital.
Within the week, Lani was diagnosed with Anti NMDA Receptor Encephalitis, a rare illness where the body produces antibodies (usually to attack viruses) that instead attack the NMDA receptors in the brain. This in turn affects movement and autonomic functions such as breathing, swallowing etc. The causes of Anti NMDA Receptor Encephalitis are unknown but have been detailed well in an autobiography titled “Brain on Fire”, along with a 2017 Netflix movie with the same name.
To add to Lani’s journey, on 29 May she required emergency surgery to remove part of her bowel due to loss of blood flow there. Then on 8 June, while attempting to remove her from the ventilator, she went into cardiac arrest where she was given CPR and was without oxygen for some time. Consequently, the medical team has confirmed that there is some brain damage which may leave Lani with a movement disorder as a result.
Initially, Lani’s recovery in hospital was estimated at 9-12 months, but with the added complications of her bowel and recent cardiac arrest, Lani now has a long road of extensive therapy and rehabilitation ahead of her.
Over the last few months, many family & friends have asked how they can help support Lani's family through this. This page has been created for that reason - it will help to ensure that Lani has the support she needs to get better and will also help her family manage their financial responsibilities during this difficult time while they are off work to remain by Lani's side. We would like to keep everyone updated with Lani's strength and bravery with photos and progress. Thank you so much for your love and support.
- Clarence Gibbons
- Shauna Bouel
- Jo P
- Leea Mitchell
- Umesh Shetty
Organizer and beneficiary
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