Girl hails Sick Kids vocal surgery team

Rebecca Baird. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Rebecca Baird. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A FIVE-year-old has found her voice again after she had surgery on a rare throat condition.

Rebecca Baird could only talk in a whisper, baffling doctors who initially thought it was caused by a bad cough.

When it failed to improve, her parents took her back to the GP who sent her for tests at the Sick Kids.

It was then surgeons found she had growths in her windpipe, leaving her with only ten per cent of her airways open.

Mum Lynsey-Ann, of Dalkeith, said it was a scary time for her and husband Elliot, who also have daughter Jennifer, two.

“They were saying she must have been having problems breathing because only ten per cent of her airway was open.

“It was like a pinhole which was obviously scary.

“They asked whether she’d been falling over at nursery and waking up in her sleep struggling to breath. She hadn’t been, the only sign was her voice which she had been loosing until it was like a whisper.”

Rebecca, who attends Happy Days nursery, underwent her first operation to scrape away the tissue growth from one side of her airway in January.

A second operation, to address the other side, was carried out in February, and a third in April. She will undergo further ones in July and 
September. The cause of the condition is unknown and the growths, which are similar to warts, will regrow, meaning Rebecca will continue to need surgery. It is hoped she will eventually grow out of it when she reaches puberty.

Teacher Lynsey-Ann, 38, said Rebecca has been brave throughout her treatment.

“She thought it was a great idea getting a camera stuck up her nose. She’s coped with it better than any adult would.

“She loved singing but it was really difficult when it was a whisper, you could hear her straining. I think it was around the third operation and it was my mum’s birthday. She sang Happy Birthday and we all burst into tears.

“It’s lovely that she’s able to sing at nursery again now.”

Rebecca was watching Comic Relief and asked her mum if she could do something to help “her hospital”.

So the youngster is taking part in a Teddy Toddle and summer fair at Meadowbank Stadium next month dressed as a Disney princess – although hasn’t decided which one yet. There will be a host of activities including stalls, fairground rides, a bouncy castle, music and fun workshops to raise money for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation.

Chief executive Maureen Harrison said: “Rebecca is such an inspirational little girl – a real miracle. It’s lovely to see her leading the way for the young fundraisers.”