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When ten-month-old Alyssa developed rashes around her ankles, her mum Amanda rushed her to Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, fearing she had meningitis. While this was ruled out, doctors told her devastated parents little Alyssa had infantile ALL – Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Alyssa went through months of intensive chemotherapy treatment and spent more than 18 months in the Hospital. Her mum Amanda said Alyssa reached a lot of milestones in the Hospital, including her first steps. “She had just undergone chemo and she got down and just started walking up and down the corridor, I was in floods of tears and so were the nursing staff,” she said.
After going through months of intensive chemotherapy and dealing with the many side-effects including nausea, Alyssa underwent a cord transplant eight months after being diagnosed. She spent about four months in isolation in the Hospital, to ensure she didn’t contract any infections after the transplant and then her parents were allowed to take her home. They kept her basically in isolation at home for another few months away from anywhere they thought she may get sick.
Since then, Alyssa has finished treatment and is now in remission, much to the delight of her parents and older sister. She’s at pre-school, enjoying swimming lessons and now only comes into the Hospital once every eight weeks. She recently celebrated her third birthday at home with her family.
“Alyssa wouldn’t be here without the dedication of the Hospital staff,” Amanda said. “We were made to feel by the staff that Alyssa was the only child being treated, which of course is not true, such was the dedication of the doctors and nurses.”
“We never felt alone during our time at the Hospital, there was always someone going in to bat for Alyssa’s life.”
“We will be forever grateful to the Hospital, the staff and anyone who has ever donated.”