Teylor Dillon holds her baby Kaliah at the U.C. Davis Medical Center as the infant battles bacterial meningitis. Photos submitted

A Lassen County family seeks community’s support as infant battles meningitis

Kaliah Mae Dillion is just over a month old, but she’s fighting the battle of her young life at U.C. Davis Medical Center, struggling to overcome bacterial meningitis.

It all began Tuesday, Aug. 18 when the family learned Kaliah was being transferred to U.C. Davis. A spinal tap revealed the little one had contracted bacterial meningitis and would need to be hospitalized for at least 14 days.

The disease affected her brain, and she began having seizures. The little one has been living on a feeding tube, a ventilator and receiving blood transfusions. She suffered 32 seizures during one 12-hour period.

An MRI revealed some brain damage in an area that can cause cognitive/motor skill impairments. At one point her white blood cell count rose to 4,600 but doctors brought it down to 250.

Kaliah Dillon fights for her life at U.C. Davis.

“The antibiotics are still fighting the bacteria in her brain,” said Teylor Dillon, Kaliah’s mother. “We have to continue to wait as she battles this bacteria. They are continuing to ween off her medication. We are still being told that we will be here at least 2-4 weeks (depending on her seizures.) Today has been nothing but good news. She’s moving around a lot today. She squeezing mommy’s finger today, and that brought a giant smile.”

A number of doctors and specialists work round the clock to save Kaliah’s life.

“The neurologist, the infection control specialist and all of the other specialists that she has right now have advised us that we need to take her infection day by day,” said Dillon. “She will have good days, and she will have bad days. As of right now, she is stable and that gives us hope. She has a very long road ahead of her, but each day that she is still with us is an absolute blessing … We know that she will need lots of physical therapy and we will have to grow with her and see what she does and doesn’t struggle with. She is such a strong little girl and we have nothing but high hopes for her to have a bright future … Chase and I are so lucky to have each other to lean on in this difficult time, as families are not allowed to visit with us.”

After a few days at U.C. Davis Kaliah is making progress.

Yesterday, Thursday, Aug. 24 Kaliah spent her fourth day seizure free.

“She is very, very congested from being on the ventilator for so many days, but she is doing her best to cough everything up.” Dillon said. “She hasn’t cried yet, but she is trying her hardest to make little noises. She is taking mommy’s milk through her feeding tube like a champ, and is starting a full feeding tonight. Mommy and daddy both got to hold her today and it made our hearts so full. Please continue to pray for her recovery, as we won’t know the full extent of her brain damage until we get a final MRI.”

And here’s some good news from the latest update — the doctors believe her life is no longer in danger and are very hopeful for her recovery.

Those who would like to help the family with their expenses can Venmo Dillon directly at Teylor-Dillon.