COURAGEOUS Alisha Atkinson – who “lives life to the full” despite suffering with a condition that makes her vomit up to 40 times a day – has been nominated by her proud mother as a champion child.
Alisha, 12, started year seven at Carleton High School this October but has only been able to attend three weeks of the new term as she suffers with cyclical vomiting syndrome.
The incurable rare condition flares up when Alisha is stressed, excited or anxious and makes her violently sick every ten minutes – which can carry on for up to six days.
Mum Maggie Atkinson, of Grove Lea Crescent, said: “Alisha has now been suffering for six years, which is half her life.
“She’s been robbed of her childhood, missing out on things other children take for granted like holidays, sleep overs, school trips, or even simple things such as playing out with her friends.
“You just never know when she will become ill and then it is like she is a prisoner in her own home.”
Alisha has been nominated as a champion child in the Express’ campaign – which has an extended deadline for nominations until Monday November 14 – for her bravery and positive attitude to coping with this condition.
Since the age of six, Alisha has spent 140 nights in hospital at Pontefract General Infirmary and has intravenous fluids to rehydrate her after each “episode.”
“When Alisha comes out of one of her episodes she may be well for three to four days, taking everything in her stride, trying to live life to the full and just getting on with it. But then here we go again, as Alisha calls it, a start to her rocky road.
“People would just look upon Alisha as a happy-go-lucky child with no problems in her life, if only they knew the hell she goes through week-in week-out.”
She has tried various medication but doctors are yet to find a cure for the condition, which can affect suffers without warning.
Mrs Atkinson said: “She was a perfectly healthy little girl and this just came out of the blue. We have just got to keep our fingers crossed that she will grow out of it.
“Alisha’s so brave having to deal with the transition from primary school to high school, establishing new friends and having to explain her situation of why she has to be absent so many times.
“I am so proud of her because she’s managed to uphold her grades at school.”
Champion children – who have shown true courage in the face of illness, danger, or difficulties – will be invited to a glittering awards ceremony at Theatre Royal Wakefield.
Send your nominations to Rebecca Whittington by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to Express Champion Child, 1 Front Street, Pontefract, WF8 1BL.