At a glance, this 14-year-old girl looks just like any other teenager. But once you realize that she has undergone 20 surgeries, including 14 brain procedures, and visited nearly 16 departments at the BC Children’s Hospital in Canada, her resilience and fighting spirit shines through.
When Taylin McGill was 10 days old, her parents Sean and Erin McGill discovered there was something wrong with her.
The worried parents brought Taylin to the hospital and were devastated when she was diagnosed with salmonella bacterial meningitis, a serious and rare infection that was affecting their baby’s brain.
“I don’t think there’s anything more devastating to a parent than having a sick child. It’s scary,” said Taylin’s father, Sean.
At 10 days old, Taylin was diagnosed with salmonella bacterial meningitis, a rare form of infection that affected the baby’s brain
According to Dr. Douglas Cochrane, a neurosurgeon at BC Children’s Hospital in Canada, meningitis in an infant is an extremely challenging and life-threatening condition.
Her meningitis caused swelling and inflammation throughout her brain, which resulted in fluid accumulation.
To further aggravate the situation, due to the scarring on her brain along with the viral infection, her meningitis developed into epilepsy.
From then onward, the little girl’s life was marked by acute seizures and lots of surgeries—20 to be exact, including 14 shunt surgeries (draining fluid accumulated in the brain). The family made well as over 100 visits to the Children’s Hospital.
Taylin’s life had been marked by surgeries, acute seizures, and over 100 visits to the children’s hospital
At 3 years old, Taylin went into a critical state when she fell into a coma, resulting in left-side paralysis, which left her temporarily mute, with an impairment in her left eye that lasted for three months.
She underwent 14 surgeries by age 7, and had suffered permanent, short-term memory loss. For this reason, she had to be taught how to walk, eat, and talk again.
It’s hard to discern how much pain and struggle this teenager has gone through in her 14 years of life.
She underwent 14 surgeries by age 7
Despite the countless times her life was at risk from the infection, and the agonizing stress of going through treatment, Taylin never conceded defeat. In fact, the happy girl’s brightness and positivity influenced everyone around her, including her family.
Her father often told her: “Daddy wishes he could take this away from you,” but courageous Taylin always replied: “No Daddy you don’t want this. I’m OK, I can do it on my own.”
She remained bright and happy no matter how painful the treatment was
Today, 14-year-old Taylin has been cured from the infection, and has not suffered a major seizure for 2 years
Fourteen years have passed, and Taylin’s infection has finally been cured. She has been without a major seizure for 2 years, which was marked by a milestone family celebration on Nov. 11, 2014.
“We have had 10 to 12 years of some pretty horrible times, but Taylin is healthy now and really doing well. Through those times of sorrow came remarkable things. It has changed the way our family looks at life. You can always find something good,” said her mother, Erin.
Today, the story of this brave warrior from Tsawwassen, British Columbia, whose motto is “Never Give Up” continues to inspire others.
As a result of the infection, Taylin has difficulty with short-term memory and concentrating, but she never gives up
Attributable to the long-term impact of the infection, Taylin still has difficulty with short-term memory and concentration, but continues to strive to do everything herself from singing in a choir, swimming in her backyard pool, snorkeling, participating in gymnastics, to playing softball with a Special Olympics team.
The story of this brave warrior continues to inspire others, and she is named 2017 Champion Child for BC Children’s Hospital
“My sister’s motto is ‘Never Give Up’. No matter if it’s with school or sports or basic tasks, like cleaning. She’ll always come back and she’ll always get through it and just get better and better at it every day,” shared Taylin’s sister, Kheya McGill.
The inspiring story of Taylin, named 2017 Champion Child for BC Children’s Hospital, serves to remind us that no matter how harsh the ordeal is, one will see the light at the end of the tunnel so long as we never give up!
“She reminds us every day that life is precious and that we need to love deeply and feel gratitude, as it can be taken from us in the blink of an eye,” said Erin.
The McGill family together at home
Watch Taylin’s story: