Home' Napier Mail : June 14th 2011 Contents www.napiermail.co.nz
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
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Aquarium welcomes maneater
Getting a helping hand: Baby
piranha are given a tempting fishy-
fingered welcome to their new home
at Napier's National Aquarium.
Photo: EVA BRADLEY
When fully grown, they will be
razor-toothed maneaters, but for
now, the National Aquarium s 40
baby piranha are the cutest show
The three-month-old fish have
been imported from Germany and
have spent the last six weeks in
quarantine in New Plymouth,
before being transported to the
aquarium in Napier.
National Aquarium of New Zea-
land manager Rob Yarrall said
when the baby piranha arrived,
each fish was individually packed
in tall narrow plastic bags con-
taining water and oxygen.
You can t transport them with
more than one fish in each bag,
because in the dark if they bump
into each other and live up to their
reputation by following their
natural instinct to attack -- let s
just say that would lead to many
of the bags turning up empty, Mr
They already have exceptionally
Once mature, they will be
capable of expertly chopping out a
piece of flesh from a man as neatly
as a razor, or clipping off a finger
Picture a brighter future for Matisse
Happy: Matisse Reid with her family.
Now with more energy than she has ever
had, Matisse Reid, who underwent a large
bowel transplant at Pittsburgh Children s
Hospital in December last year, is able to
play outside more and have friends come
for sleepovers at her home.
This is a huge step forward for her and
her family. But she still has a long way to
go, says dad Wayne, who was home in
Matisse was born with chronic intestinal
pseudo obstruction which meant that, until
the transplant, she was unable to eat and
relied on intravenous nutrition.
Now facing further surgery to join her
large and small bowel, Wayne says the fam-
ily take things day by day.
After the transplant Matisse was really
withdrawn, so it s been good to see her
happy personality come back, Wayne says.
One thing that s been really hard on her
is the fact that a couple of her friends have
passed away and it s so hard to explain to
a child that that s how you are and this
could happen . As a parent it s hard to tell
her, in what you think are the right words,
exactly what s going on. The rest of the
family are coping pretty well, but I think
however the stress is affecting Jodee and I,
is the way it affects the family.
The Reids are not allowed to work in the
United States, which makes things doubly
difficult as money raised for the family by
the Hawke s Bay community is beginning to
get a bit thin .
In New Zealand Wayne worked as a con-
tractor but with the US in a recession, the
immigration department is reluctant to
give permission for either Wayne or Jodee
to work, when so many US citizens are out
of a job.
Everywhere you go, you come up against
a brick wall -- it would be different if I was
a Russian rocket scientist! Wayne smiles.
This is the first time I haven t worked
since I left school at 16. And on the upside,
I ve been able to spend a lot more time with
my kids, but the fact that the money is
running out plays on us all the time.
We knew there would be a long road
after transplant and this surgery coming up
may not be the last. We find the most com-
mon question being asked now is, So
Matisse has had the transplant, so why
can t you come home? It s just not that
simple. New Zealand doctors don t have
that specialist knowledge and if mistakes
are made, Matisse is the one who cops it.
Matisse s brothers Kalani and Fraanz
and elder sister Rachel have adjusted to life
in the US with Rachel studying digital
media and arts at university.
But they do plan to return one day -- just
as soon as they know that Matisse will be
We know that we couldn t have got as
far as we have without the support of our
community and we feel really lucky. Now
we just play the waiting game. Matisse is
doing well post-transplant when so many of
her friends haven t and it s so good to see
her happy. Thanks, Hawke s Bay.
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