Karen’s Trip to New Zealand

Karen’s Trip to New Zealand

Jon, Ciara (aged 3 with PKU) and I were lucky enough to go to New Zealand for eight weeks. Jon was born in New Zealand and it was Ciara’s first trip to meet her family there. As you can imagine, planning a trip like that took a lot of organising and travelling abroad with a child who has PKU takes even more organising . It was all well worth it though. Everyone we dealt with was so helpful.

Karen-New Zealand image

Before leaving we contacted the hospital in New Zealand that looks after metabolic conditions. We found out what products are available there. We ordered what we could get there and had them delivered to Jon's mother’s house. Ciara's protein substitute is not available in NZ so Nutricia Metabolics were very kind and couriered over the powdered version of Amanix Junior for her. We brought the rest of the products she likes with us in our bags. We divided them up between our 3 bags. In case we had any customs problems we had a letter from Temple Street, kept everything in its original packaging and declared we had food on arrival. Luckily enough we had the food split between the bags because one of them was lost. It was returned to us a few days later but we were lucky we didn't have all Ciara's food in that bag. The metabolic unit in NZ agreed to test Ciara's blood over there so every week for the 8 weeks we posted the bloods to them in Auckland for testing.

We flew with Malaysian airlines. It's a long journey! Dublin to London then on to Kuala Lumpar (12hrs) where we stopped for 2 nights. Then on to Auckland (11hrs) then on Jon's home town New Plymouth (45mins + 3hr stop over). Malaysian airlines provided child vegetarian meals which Ciara only picked at. She only ate some of the fruit and veg. They came with pasta usually which she could not have had but did not want anyway.  I brought with us on the plane plenty of snacks and drinks.  We had no problems with any of the airport security about this but had a letter from Temple Street  explaining why at hand just in case.  We didn't worry too much about how many exchanges Ciara had while we were travelling, obviously we didn't give her anything she couldn't have and if anything she had less exchanges than she is allowed. 

We spent most of our time in NZ in Jon's home town, staying with his mother, catching up with friends and family there. We also did a road trip around NZ for 3 weeks visiting friends and family and seeing some sights. We were so proud, showing Ciara off to everyone there! We found similar products in supermarkets as here which were labelled with the nutritional value. Although they did not have Ciara's favourite Spaghetti Hoops which we missed a lot! Through the hospital in NZ we were put in contact with another family who have a 2 year old with PKU. They live 5 hrs drive away from Jon's home town but we visited them on our road trip. It was great to meet a family living with PKU half way round the world and see how they get on.

We had a fabulous time and with help from Nutricia Metabolics, Temple Street and the hospital in NZ Ciara's PKU was no hindrance at all!

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