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Community takes Bradford's 'miracle child’ to heart

Till campaign continues at Zehrs this weekend to support Bradford West Gwillimbury family with young daughter’s recovery from devastating medical complications

One year ago, Brooklyn Mauca could barely sit up in the motorized wheelchair that parents Josh and Christina used to bring her home from hospital.

This week, her dad could barely keep up with Brooklyn, now three years old, as she explored the displays at Zehrs.

“She loves coming out. She’s very curious,” said Christina.

The family had been invited to Zehrs to receive the proceeds of several fundraisers for Brooklyn’s care and ongoing therapy.

The very fact that she was sitting and smiling last October was a miracle in itself. Brooklyn had suffered a massive hemorrhage following routine surgery and went into cardiac arrest. For 20 minutes, as doctors worked feverishly, she was unconscious.

Once stabilized, Brooklyn was airlifted to SickKids Hospital in Toronto, where she was in care for a month, before being transferred to Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.

In recovery came the shattering news: Brooklyn had lost her vision, speech, and the ability to move or feed herself. The losses could be permanent, doctors told the Maucas.

Her real recovery began as soon as she came home, with continued therapy. Now, one year later, Brooklyn is not only walking, she can see with the use of glasses, can feed herself, and she has a vocabulary of about 70 words.

The Maucas said doctors told them: “You’ll probably see huge gains when you start putting her with other kids.”

Brooklyn continues to need intensive therapy, and it is still difficult for Josh and Christina, both of whom are self-employed. Christina is expecting twins — a boy and a girl — in December.

Ashley Borthwick, of Shining Faces Childcare and Learning Centre has been front and centre in organizing fundraising efforts for the family.

“Brooklyn is a past student of ours, and I fully believe she’ll be back in the near future,” she said. “We’re looking forward to having her back.”

Borthwick raffled off a part-time space in daycare this fall, raising $1,500 for the family.

She also inspired both Reali’s No Frills and Zehrs in Bradford to launch till campaigns, inviting shoppers to round up their bill or add a dollar or two at checkout, to help with Brooklyn’s recovery.

On Thursday, No Frills’ Peter Reali presented a cheque for $1,000 — representing $800 raised by customers, topped up by the store itself — while Zehrs store manager Evan Magee presented just over $1,200.

Reali waved aside a thank you from Josh and Christina. “It’s actually Bradford,” he said, not just the store.

It’s all for Bradford’s “miracle child,” noted Borthwick.

Brooklyn continues to astound everyone with her recovery, fighting spirit and determination.

“It’s to show everyone the miracle,” said Christina. “A year ago she wasn’t even sitting. Who knows, in a year’s time…”

The till campaign will continue at Zehrs all this weekend.

Those who wish to support Brooklyn’s recovery can also donate at the GoFundMe page or visit

Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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