Jayla, Age 3
Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center
Complete DiGeorge Syndrome
Just days after her birth, Jayla developed a rash all over her body and began having seizures. She was initially thought to have a calcium imbalance, but Jayla was ultimately diagnosed with Complete DiGeorge Syndrome, an extremely rare disease that affects fewer than 10 babies born in the United States each year.
Born without a thymus gland, which is responsible for the "education" of T-cells that build our immune system, Jayla could have died from exposure to the smallest germ. Her family was referred to Duke Children's Hospital, and doctors set out to save Jayla's life.
Months after receiving treatment, a biopsy revealed a "super positive," the first sign that the transplanted thymus Jayla received was working.
After living in total isolation for the first years of her life, today Jayla lives worry free. She beat initial life-expectancy odds of just one year, and is now attending preschool. She loves giving hugs, listening to stories and being around her sisters and classmates.