A Corby family is raising money to help a four-year-old girl recover from a deadly illness.
Tiammi Byott was diagnosed with encephalitis after spending two weeks in a coma, leaving her with damage to two parts of her brain.
When she came round her development level was that of a newborn child’s, with the youngster only able to move her head from side to side.
She is having to learn to walk and talk all over again and mum Michele, 42, says she’s an inspiration.
She said: “She has had to learn to speak and walk all over again and she’s wobbly but she can do it.
“She’s an absolute inspiration but if it wasn’t for her little brother [Jordan, three] I don’t think she would have come as far as she has.
“I rushed into the living room the other day after hearing a noise and it was Tiammi crawling to get to him to play with toys.”
Tiammi’s problems began in 2016 when she started feeling poorly.
She soon became unresponsive and within about three hours she couldn’t even stand up.
Michele took her to hospital and doctors believed it was just a virus, before she was placed into a coma.
Michele said: “It knocked her for six.
“She was in so much pain.
“It was absolutely heartbreaking, I wouldn’t want anyone to experience that.”
About seven people per 100,000 fall ill with encephalitis in western countries each year.
Encephalitis is an uncommon but serious condition in which the brain becomes inflamed.
It can be life-threatening and requires urgent treatment in hospital.
Michele added that it’s “like meningitis but worse”.
Now the Byotts are hoping to raise £5,000 to aid Tiammi’s recovery.
Tiammi is due to go to school in September but is currently unable to do many things a child her age can because of her poor co-ordination.
She has finger foods to help her eat and is unable to dress or undress herself.
Any money raised will help the family go private for intense physiotherapy, speech and language therapy and hydrotherapy, giving her a brighter future.
Michele said: “She’s seen by a lot of people on the NHS but there’s a long waiting list and she really needs the help now.
“We want her to stand a better chance in the future and this will definitely help.”
Tiammi’s granddad is going to have his legs and back waxed and the family is looking for a business to do it for charity.
Michele’s wife, who normally has short hair, is growing it out and on Tiammi’s fifth birthday she is going to let the youngster shave it all off.
To donate visit the Tiammi’s Army fundraising page here or text TIAM67 followed by the amount you want to donate to 70070.
To contact the family to help with fundraising ideas, email Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org.