SHE'S the little girl who had never been swimming.

She couldn't spend the summer playing in the sprinkler and never knew what it felt like to stand in the shower with water beating down on her face.

But not anymore.

This week Mayana Wyles-Dudman, the two-year-old Ipswich girl born with the rare disease short gut syndrome, frolicked at a water park for the first time.

Her squeals of excitement rang out across the little park and she excitedly weaved in and out of the water.

Her specially made suit from the US, which prevents water from touching her mid-section, landed in Ipswich this month.

The day it arrived, Mayana tried it out in a paddling pool at home.

"You couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces," grandmother Eileen Dudman said.

"She knows she can swim now as long as she's wearing the suit."

Mayana Wyles - Dudman is excited to be playing in water in her new drysuit.
Mayana Wyles - Dudman is excited to be playing in water in her new drysuit. Rob Williams

The only trouble with the suit; Mayana hates the hood, but she needs it to ensure no water gets inside which would put her at risk of infection.

In the lead up to Christmas Eileen called out through the QT to the Ipswich community to help her raise $500 she to buy the special suit.

Not only did the community donate the $500 needed to buy the suit - thanks to Happy Wanderers Bob Green, who threw in an extra $200, and Ipswich law firm McNamara & Associates - but Mayana now has a bank account with $2000 in savings, a handmade blanket and war medals given to her as a gift.

QT stories on Mayana
QT stories on Mayana

"It's unbelievable," Eileen said.

"If it wasn't for all the help we received from the community it wouldn't have been possible, at least not for a few more years.

"We couldn't believe how many people contacted us, so willing to help. It was truly amazing and we are so grateful to everyone."

Mayana Wyles - Dudman is excited to be playing in water in her new drysuit.
Mayana Wyles - Dudman is excited to be playing in water in her new drysuit. Rob Williams

Mayana spent the first 14 months of her life in hospital at Townsville before her grandmother and carer Eileen moved down to Ipswich for more family support.

Their every-day routine is filled with medication, changing dressings and emptying a bag that hangs off the toddler's exposed intestines catching waste from the liquid food she consumes through a tube.

Despite her condition, Mayana is a bright, intelligent, curious, social and happy child.

For Eileen watching her miss out on so many of the things other children get to experience is more heartbreaking than knowing she is suffering from a serious medical condition.

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That makes every moment Eileen can stand back and watch Mayana playing, like any other child would, truly magical.

Mayana might be able to have a transplant in the future, but for now her doctors have recommended that while she's healthy a transplant would be an unnecessary risk.

Eileen, who opted to take care of Mayana because her parents were too scared they wouldn't capable of meeting her high care needs, which required medical training, is already preparing herself for when Mayana starts school.



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