‘MACKENZIE CHOSE THIS BABY FOR US'
Woman’s Day Magazine NZ|August 30, 2021
Nearly four years after her baby daughter passed away, Rachael is celebrating the arrival of her son Izaac
Emma Babbington

Like many new mums, Rachael Casella frequently finds herself gazing at her baby, overwhelmed with happiness. “Sometimes I feel like I’m going to explode with love,” she says, smiling. “Izaac is amazing and the past few months have been incredible.”

But these precious moments with the now-five-month-old little boy are also bittersweet for the Sydney mum. “Although it’s a really beautiful time, it’s complex,” admits Rachael, 37. “I feel guilty because maybe I shouldn’t be happy then I feel guilty for feeling that, too.”

It’s no surprise Rachael’s emotions are in flux. Nearly four years ago, she and husband Jonny’s beloved little girl Mackenzie passed away at seven months and 11 days old.

EARLY DIAGNOSIS

Mackenzie had spinal muscular atrophy type 1 (SMA), the terminal genetic condition that progressively destroys nerve cells that control breathing, swallowing and moving. She was diagnosed at 10 weeks old.

“It’s been a really hard few years but I honestly believe that Mackenzie chose Izaac specifically for us,” Rachael tells Woman’s Day. “And I feel like he’s exactly what we needed – he’s incredible.”

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