Mikaela MacNaughton, a five year old girl with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, has returned to Yellowknife from Texas for a specialized surgery.

Ruth and Chris MacNaughton will be holding a charity fundraising event to help raise funds to cover the cost of a specialized surgery their daughter, Mikaela, recently had in Texas. Chris will be shaving his moustache and their son Matthias will be getting his first haircut. From the left, back, Ruth MacNaughton, Chris MacNaughton. Front left, front, Mikaela and Matthias MacNaughton.
photo courtesy of Ruth MacNaughton

The trip was not without it’s complications, says her mother Ruth MacNaughton.

The first surgery went well, but as the family was getting closer to discharge, x-rays had revealed a complication.

“They had pinned her hip to heal but her bone was so brittle, it broke away from the pin and they needed to go in again,” said Ruth.

The family ended up staying in Texas for another week for the extra surgery which resulted in a metal plate being fashioned to Mikaela’s hip.

Mikaela initially had completed the surgery to readjust her hips after they dislocated due to tight muscle tension.

“Otherwise we’re doing as expected now. It was a very good experience, care was top notch,” said Ruth.

“We’re very thankful it was caught before we left,” said Ruth. “We were actually getting ready for discharge before the doctor told us there was a problem.”

Mikaela was outfitted in a lower body brace to facilitate healing.

“She’s in a body brace now. Gives us some mobility. It can be set to allow for some movement of the legs. She has less range than anticipated, but it’s being limited for the healing,” said Ruth.


Now that Mikaela and the MacNaughtons have returned to Yellowknife, family friends will be hosting an event called “Moustaches for Mikaela” an event to help raise money to cover the costs of the initial surgery.

“Chris has had a moustache for pretty much half of his life and (it) has really become a calling card,” said Ruth.

He will be shaving it off at Ragged Ass Barbers on May 26 at 2 p.m. to raise funds and awareness for his daughter’s surgeries.

Mikaela’s brother, Matthias, will also be taking part in the event.

“He’s two years old and hasn’t had a haircut yet, so at the event we’ll be shaving his head,” said Ruth.

Ruth says she also hopes to donate the hair to cancer patients.

The initial surgery cost the family roughly $30,000 USD and they have yet to receive a bill for the second surgery.

“I’m not about to call them up and ask for it either,” said Ruth with a laugh.

In the meantime, a fundraising campaign has been set up on Give-Send-Go, on online fundraising platform and Ruth has continued to make Handmades for Mikaela, which are sold in six stores in Yellowknife.

Fundraising will also be used to help the family afford ongoing specialized treatment.

Brett McGarry

Brett McGarry came to Yellowknife in early 2019 after graduating from Humber College with an advanced diploma in journalism. After covering city council and local business as a reporter, Brett is now an...

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