A mum has spoken about the horror of her young daughter being almost left paralysed after running into complications after contracting chickenpox.
Ruby Hancock, now six, fell ill in February this year, but the disease soon took a turn for the worse.
Mother Laura Hancock, 27, from Lincolnshire, said: Everything was normal, Ruby had just had chickenpox and had passed it to my youngest daughter, Mia. She [Ruby] was fine. We didnt think there was anything to worry about.
But then she started throwing up bubbles and initially Ruby was diagnosed with a water infection and put on a course of antibiotics.
But her condition soon became so bad she had to be sent home because she was unable to walk.
Laura took her to Boston Pilgrim Hospital, but Ruby fell unconscious in her grandmothers arms before they arrived.
Laura said: It was horrible to see her going through that, I was thinking I need to get her to the hospital desk. I have never experienced anything like that before. Everything was going through my mind.
The next day doctors said Ruby had been diagnosed with Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEMS) which causes swelling on the brain and spine, and can lead to paralysis.
Laura said: The worst thing was getting the results. It was quite late at night and the doctor pulled me to the side.
He was using a few technical terms and I just burst into tears. You just dont know what to think, what to say or what to do.
There were no words to describe it – your heart just breaks. It is surreal to look at your child and to think that they may never walk again.
The doctors were positive it wouldnt get to that, but we were thinking if the worst does happen we will deal with it.
After three weeks in hospital Ruby was finally well enough to start walking again.
Despite being very wobbly and using her mum as support, doctors were convinced she was able to go home.
But despite being out of hospital, her mum says Rubys recovery is only just starting.
She said: People look at her [Ruby] and think she is a normal little girl – but we see the other things people dont see.
She is nowhere near being out of the woods. There is still swelling on her brain.
Her balance is still very off and she does fall over a lot – we still have many problems and things we still have to cross.
In the meantime her family are trying to raise awareness of ADEMS and the dangers of chickenpox.
Laura added: Im mainly wanting to get this story out because this condition my daughter now has is very rare and it is looking like chickenpox caused it all.
The mum is now helping to raise money for the Encephalitis Society – to help fund research into the disease.
She is planning to go on the Europes largest zipwire on September 15 with all funds donated going to the charity.