A distressed Auckland mother has revealed her little girl suffered four strokes just weeks out from her second birthday.
Little Alanna lost the ability to walk just weeks out from turning two in April, 2017 - the first time her mum Lucianne O’Shaughnessy realised something was wrong.
Her mum said the two-year-old, who was born prematurely, tried to crawl on a visit to her grandmother Patsy's house but couldn’t go in a straight line.
"I just knew something was seriously wrong straight away and (I was in an) absolute panic but tried to stay calm at the same time so as not to freak out Mousie (Alanna) or my four-year-old daughter,” she told the NZ Herald.
The little girl was rushed to hospital and it was determined she had two tears in the blood supply to the base of her brain. It’s not know what caused them.
"She does have a thin blood supply up to the base of her brain. It's quite common, but the fact she had a stroke is incredibly rare,” Ms O’Shaughnessy said.
Alanna was placed on the drug Clopidogrel to make her blood less sticky, but it opened her up to a high risk of suffering internal bleeding.
Her mum said any knocks she took, “especially to her head”, meant they had to rush Alanna back to the emergency room.
An MRI was planned to monitor the situation three months after the strokes, but had to be moved forward due to concerns over her condition.
One of the scans showed a tear had gotten bigger. Ms O’Shaughnessy said “it was the worst news we could have hoped for”.
Alanna’s mother was told to adjust her medication by specialist Melinda Nolan. Now, several months on, the toddler's condition has improved and the only medication she is taking is aspirin.
The best news of all is that she has also regained her ability to walk.
Her family says they are in awe of Alanna's fighting spirit and “the courage that she’s shown”.
Inspired by the little girl’s spirit, Alanna's 73-year-old grandmother Patsy hopes to run the 42km Rotorua Marathon in May - her first-ever marathon.
A fundraising page has been set up to raise money for stroke victims via the Starship Neurology Department and Young Stroke Thrivers Foundation.
"Alanna is known to both family & friends as “Mousie” and over the past year her spirit and courage on her road to recovery has amazed everyone around her," Patsy writes.
"I am so proud of her and so thankful that she is still with us – she has certainly proved to everyone that she is a Mighty Mouse."