Maddie’s parents know that, although they wish to take her home, the hospital is still the safest place for her. Born in January, Maddie was diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency, or SCID, a rare condition that makes her highly susceptible to infection.
Around 300 newborns just like Maddie are checked every day for dozens of conditions by people like Waisman Center affiliate Mei Baker of the Newborn Screening Lab at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Baker led efforts to implement screening for SCID for all newborns in Wisconsin.
Early identification can help a newborn obtain a bone marrow transplant, which usually cures the condition. Maddie’s situation is more complicated, requiring a thymus gland transplant. But although she is stuck in the hospital, “she knows her family is there,” says Tiffany Masseur, her mother. “She knows when she is happy.”
See the full video segment here: ‘Anything can kill her’: Area family credits newborn screening with saving baby’s life