Take A Look At How 2 Year Old Ameliya Battled Against Serious Disease GBS; And Won

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Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is a rare, but serious, condition of the peripheral nervous system and affects approximately 1,500 people in the UK every year. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system causing weakness and loss of sensation.

Most people develop Guillain-Barre Syndrome shortly after suffering from a viral or bacterial infection such as the common cold or tonsillitis. This was the case for 2 year-old girl, Ameliya Pellett, from Ontario, Canada, who suffered with a cold in the run up to 1st October 2016.

The toddler’s symptoms were initially mistaken for a sprained knee and later transient synovitis, otherwise known as irritable hip. Ameliya’s parents were therefore recommended to treat their daughter’s injuries with ice and encourage rest, advising the injuries would pass in up to 14 days.

Despite this, over the following few days Ameliya’s condition rapidly deteriorated.  The initial loss of feeling in her right leg, soon spread to her left leg, arms and neck. Ameliya’s mother, Miranda Pellett, immediately realised that transient synovitis does not affect the upper half of the body and rushed her daughter into hospital.

Emergency tests revealed Ameliya was suffering from the rare nerve condition, Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It took four visits to the hospital, a CT scan, an MRI, and a spinal tap before the correct diagnosis was made. This delay could have been deadly if the paralysis had been left untreated and spread to the respiratory muscles.

Following the diagnosis, Ameliya began a pioneering treatment involving IVIG, a protein replacement therapy suitable for treating immune deficient patients. After a total of 22 days in hospital, the toddler has started to regain strength and teach herself to use her legs once again.

Ameliya still has a long and intensive course of physiotherapy ahead of her. However, based on her current determination both her doctors and family are confident she will make a full recovery.

In light of her family’s experience, Miranda Pellett, wishes to pass on her cautionary tale to other parents and caregivers due to the lack of information which surrounds this damaging, yet recoverable, condition.

In Ameliya’s case, she appears to have been diagnosed promptly.  However, often there are delays in diagnosing Guillain-Barre Syndrome resulting in a poorer outcome.  This isn’t necessarily always negligent as Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a difficult condition to diagnose.  Where there has been a delay as a result of negligence, our team can help.

At Michael Lewin Solicitors, we have extensive experience of dealing with cases involving delays in diagnosis of neurological conditions such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome.  Our head of department, Lee Raynor, is also a trustee of the charity GAIN, who support patients and their family following a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre.

Article written by Bethany Hall, Legal Administrator for the Clinical Negligence Department at Michael Lewin Solicitors.

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