Sheffield girl’s ‘miracle’ recovery after stroke at age of two

Erin Wood of Woodseats, who had a stroke aged two, pictured with mum Gill, dad Rob and brother Joe; and pet Ella
Erin Wood of Woodseats, who had a stroke aged two, pictured with mum Gill, dad Rob and brother Joe; and pet Ella
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A SHEFFIELD mother will be running in aid of the Children’s Hospital in September to show her gratitude after her daughter made a “miracle” recovery from a stroke at the age of two.

Gill Wood believes Erin had the stroke as a complication of chicken pox.

Doctors were taken aback by the youngster’s battle back to full health and Gill will give her thanks by joining the Sheffield 10k for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

She also wants to raise awareness of the link between chicken pox and childhood stroke.

Erin’s recovery was “just unbelievable”, she said. “Doctors have said they’ve never seen anything like it.

“One doctor told us that if he didn’t know she had already had a stroke he wouldn’t be able to tell. Most children are left with neurological damage after a stroke but Erin has nothing – it’s a miracle.”

Weeks after Erin suffered chicken pox she began holding her right arm and complaining of a headache.

Parents Gill and Rob, both 39, from Woodseats, rushed her to a GP when she couldn’t put any weight on her right leg.

Gill said: “He shone a light in her eyes and said we needed to take Erin to the hospital for a neurological assessment - I knew something was really wrong.

“I thought it might be a brain tumour.

“Erin lost all feeling in her right arm and leg, her mouth started drooping, she was drooling and she couldn’t say how many fingers a doctor was holding up. It was like she was drunk.

“It was just like being in a nightmare, but I can’t praise the hospital enough. The staff were so kind to us – they made it easier to bear.”

Scans showed Erin had had a stroke.

She was in hospital for days until feeling in her leg and arm started to return – after fears she may not get back the use of her hand.

Despite suffering with vision, balance and fatigue problems for several months Erin, now five, has made a total recovery.

The Stroke Association says research shows the virus that causes chicken pox can be a risk factor for stroke in children as it makes blood vessels in the head narrow. Just 400 children suffer strokes a year.

Gill added: “We never thought it was a stroke with her being so young. You can’t believe it.

“Erin was tired for about a year afterwards, but she’s such a determined little thing, she wouldn’t let that beat her.

“People are so blasé about chicken pox – and what happened to Erin might be rare but it doesn’t feel that way when it happens.”

To sponsor Gill, visit www.justgiving.com/gillanderin.