SunLive – Whakatane student on schedule to come home

Alyssa Ledbetter suffered brain damage during a holiday in America last month.

A Bay of Plenty girl who spent weeks in intensive care in an American hospital is fired and hopes to be home within two weeks.

Alyssa Ledbetter was in Seattle at a family reunion with her brother, Rayna, father Dave – who is from America – and mother Tarnya, from Hamilton, when she had a brain haemorrhage.

The 11-year-old Whakatāne student was swimming in Lake Washington on July 21 when she emerged from the water and complained of headache, neck pain, blurred vision and numbness in her legs. [Initiallythoughtthathisdaughterhadsufferedbackboneinjury

They helped Alyssa go to the lifeguard tower, but her condition quickly deteriorated.

She lost control of her bodily functions and began to seize uncontrollably, Dave says.

Alyssa & # 39; s blurred vision deteriorated and she could not recognize the people in the room. She then fell in and out of consciousness.

A neurosurgeon happened to be near a picnic and came to Alyssa's assistant.

"The fast-paced doctor sent Alyssa to Harborview Medical Center, the primary trauma hospital for the states of Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho," says Dave.

He believes that if this did not happen, Alyssa would have suffered permanent and irreversible brain damage.

"[The doctor] acted immediately and called her hospital."

"When we arrived, eight specialists were waiting there."

"She is now a guardian angel and a personal friend with us."

Surgeons pierced Alyssa's skull to drain the fluid and relieve pressure. 19659004] They were told that Alyssa had two arteriovenous malformations in the frontal cortex of her brain.

Alyssa suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage when the weakened blood vessels in her brain burst due to the high pressure of blood flow from the arteries, causing brain haemorrhage, Dave says.

"The neurological doctors have determined that open brain surgery is not an option because the AVM is too deep in the brain and the risk of permanent damage is too great – the only other realistic option is gamma-knife radio surgery."

The cause of AVM & # 39; s is not clear, according to information on the American Heart and Stroke Association website.

Most people are born with it, but they can occasionally form later in life. They are rarely passed on genetically under genius.

Some people with AVM in the brain experience signs and symptoms, such as headaches or seizures. AVMs are often found after a brain scan for another health problem or after the blood vessels rupture and cause bleeding in the brain, as in the case of Alyssa.

A once-diagnosed AVM can often be successfully treated to prevent complications, such as brain damage or stroke.

After spending more than two weeks in the hospital, Alyssa was discharged, but returned a day later with the same symptoms she had suffered at the first admission, albeit to a lesser extent.

"It's a long journey and symptoms will sometimes stay in. She has to relax in her normal life again. She is tired and encouraged quickly."

Dave said that Alyssa should undergo an outpatient treatment before she goes to New sent.

Once in New Zealand, Alyssa must wait for at least three to six months before her brain heals sufficiently before she can undergo gamma-knife surgery.

"Unfortunately there is no gamma-knife operation available in New Zealand, the closest one is in Sydney, Australia One or more trips to Sydney may be necessary."

Dave says the family will not pay the costs of the operation will know if they have had a consultation with a neurosurgeon in New Zealand.

And even with the surgery it can happen takes three years to see results.

Dave says his daughter has always been a healthy and active child who loves hip-hop dancing and various sports, including hockey, swimming and surfing.

Dave volunteers as lifeguard

The family is overwhelmed by the support they have already received and would like to thank everyone who has supported them, either with goodwill or by donating to their crowdfunding campaign.

The costs in America are covered by their insurance company, but the family raise funds for current medical costs – including the gamma-knife operation – ongoing CT and MRI scans, medicines and various travel and accommodation costs.

"It has humiliated us and made us truly ap preciative."


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