Charity saved the day for sick baby

Michelle Walkley and David Laing with Alliza-Lily
Michelle Walkley and David Laing with Alliza-Lily

A family has thanked a charity which saved them a 200-mile daily round trip while their little girl was in hospital.

Michelle Walkley and David Laing’s daughter Alliza-Lily was born with an extremely rare condition, which could have killed her if it wasn’t for the quick-thinking actions of a paramedic.

Alliza-Lily, now five-months-old, was diagnosed with congenital hyperinsulinism, which is caused by excessive insulin secretion.

She needed a three-week stay in Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, and thanks to the The Sick Children’s Trust, her parents were able to stay while she was treated.

The charity offers a ‘home from home’ base for families near the hospital.

Miss Walkley, 37, and Mr Laing, 31, of Medina Road, Corby, noticed Alliza-Lily refused a feed, became lifeless with shallow breathing and had turned blue round the mouth at just six-days-old.

East Midlands Ambulance Service paramedic Ian Pratt conducted a simple blood sugar test, and a shot of glucogen was given to stabilise her.

Miss Walkley said: “We heard about The Sick Children’s Trust’s accommodation through another parent as the hospital had been unable to assist myself and my partner with accommodation.

“They really helped us by offering us a permanent base at their Guilford Street House during Alliza-Lily’s stay.

“It meant David and I were able to stay together and be near the hospital, which was only a few minutes’ walk away.

“It gave us peace of mind knowing we could rest when we needed to and get a decent night’s sleep – just being able to take a shower and wash our clothes benefited us immensely.

“If we had to travel back home every day to Corby, it is more than 200 miles in a round trip, it would have been much more difficult as we would not have been so aware of any little milestones she had made.”

The family says Alliza-Lily is doing well and responding to her medication. They attended a follow-up appointment at Great Ormond Street at the end of February which went well, and they have another in June.

Alliza-Lily will need an MRI scan at some point to ensure her brain is functioning properly and more follow-up appointments at Kettering General Hospital.