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                         LAUREN  JAINE  PHILLIPS     

                           06/08/1995  -  06/10/2007

           Lauren suffered from multiple health and developmental problems that include the following :


  • She had an as yet undiagnosed condition that was suspected to be genetic, extremely rare and possibly unique. It was believed she had a form of Leukodystrophy, a condition that is characterised by a lack or loss of myelin, the protective fatty substance that surrounds nerve fibres. This meant that her nervous system couldn't  function efficiently.                                                                                 
  • Lauren was twelve years old but she still had the brain of a newborn child.
  • She had reached none of the normal stages of development. She couldn't speak or communicate, sit, roll, support her body weight or have any control over her limbs.
  • She couldn't eat or drink orally, her feeds and medication passed through a gastrostomy tube directly into her stomach.
  • Lauren couldn't use her bladder. A catheter tube was inserted into her bladder to empty it.
  • Lauren often suffered from constipation and required daily laxatives and stimulation to resolve this.
  • Lauren had frequent muscle spasms and showed signs of irritability that needed to be controlled with drugs.
  • Lauren was vision and hearing impaired. She wore glasses and had been fitted with hearing aids.
  • Lauren had developed a curvature of the spine, a severe kyphoscoliosis, which could not be corrected surgically and did result in breathing problems. She couldn't cough or clear her airways so she depended on chest physiotherapy and suctioning to keep her airways clear.
  • She was sedated at night to allow her to sleep through the night.
  • Lauren has suffered from gastric reflux, her stomach contents have at times entered her lungs resulting in aspiration pneumonia. She has had many respiratory infections over the last twelve years. On many occassions she has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.
  • Lauren would get very unsettled and distressed if left alone. She enjoyed the company of others and loved being  nursed in some ones arms for comfort and security.


Despite the complications of her fragile existence, Lauren has endeared herself to all those who have known or cared for her. To experience one of her irresistible smiles makes all the care and sacrifices for this special little girl so worthwhile.