Brave Alyssa Loates in fight for recovery from norovirus
Alyssa Loates with
mum Sarah, dad Vincent and brother Joshua
A year ago, Alyssa Loates was a happy, healthy little girl who
loved Disney and playing computer games with her twin brother.
But in March 2012 she caught a vomiting bug which left her
brain-damaged. Now the nine-year-old cannot walk or stand by
herself and can only speak a few words.
Physiotherapy has helped Alyssa progress hugely - but her
sessions have been cut back to just one a month.
Her parents Sarah and Vincent, of Walderslade Road, Chatham,
have set up a campaign to raise the funds they need to pay for
weekly sessions, which they feel Alyssa desperately needs to learn
to walk and talk again.
Alyssa contracted norovirus at the beginning of March last year.
After hours of being sick, she woke up confused and floppy.
She was taken to A&E where her condition quickly
Alyssa was diagnosed with OTC deficiency, a rare genetic
disorder that causes ammonia to accumulate in the blood. If the
level becomes too high it can become toxic.
Alyssa before being
struck down by norovirus
Alyssa started fitting she was rushed to the Evelina Children’s
Hospital in London. An MRI scan revealed swelling to her brain.
Doctors told her devastated parents there was nothing more they
could do and she had just 72 hours to live.
Mum Sarah said: “We were told to say our goodbyes. For two hours
I held her hand and begged her not to die. I told her that if she
died, I’d die.”
Alyssa’s family were told they would have to make the decision
to turn off her life support but they refused to give up hope and
she kept fighting.
Alyssa slowly began to show signs of improvement and after 17
days on life-support, she was able to leave intensive care.
Sarah said: “The doctors said she wouldn’t come off life-support
but she did. They said she would never open her eyes, but she did.
They said she wouldn’t move her legs but she did.
“Every time they said she wouldn’t do something she would do
“Doctors said what she was doing was medically impossible, she
was like a miracle child.”
"We were told to say our goodbyes. For two hours I held her hand and begged her not to die" – Alyssa's mum Sarah
Alyssa was discharged
from hospital in May last year and spent three months at The
Children’s Trust rehabilitation centre in Tadworth.
Sarah said: “At a planning meeting before Alyssa came home we
were told she would have physiotherapy once a week. But this only
continued until November, then we were told she would only have one
session a month. It isn’t enough.”
The couple have been told that a private session would cost
He mum added: “When Alyssa first came home in September she
couldn’t do anything. But now she can roll, she can push herself up
on her hands and knees, she can sit unaided and pull herself up.
This is all because of the therapy.
“She is learning how to do these things but what she needs is
"To do anything independently again Alyssa needs therapy. She
wakes up each day trapped in her own body. It is
A spokesman for the Kent and Medway Commissioning Support Group
said: “We are working with the family to ensure Alyssa’s needs are
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