A little girl aged just three-years-old has been left fighting for her life in hospital after suffering a STROKE during a family holiday to Portugal.
Holly Alcock had flown to Albufeira in the Algarve for her first ever holiday with her mum, dad, brother and her grandparents on June 5.
The toddler had been suffering with tonsillitis before they set off – but after a course of antibiotics she was given the go head to travel.
Just days after landing for their sunshine break Holly collapsed on the Friday (8/6) and was rushed to hospital by mum Gemma Alcock, 34.
Dad Mark, 37, followed in a car behind after leaving 18-month-old son Jacob at the villa with his parents Graham, 63, and 57-year-old Debbie.
After MRI tests it was revealed Holly had suffered a blood clot which had reached her brain and she was airlifted to Lisbon for specialist treatment.
The youngster was left in a coma for five days and remains seriously ill at a hospital in the Iberian country having been left unable to sit up, stand or talk.
Today (Tue) heartbroken dad Mark, of Stafford, described the experience as “every parent’s worst nightmare”.
He said: “We landed on Tuesday, June 5 but before we left the UK we took Holly to see a doctor because she had tonsillitis they gave her some antibiotics.
“She was still happy and we took her to the local hospital on the Thursday for a check-up because she was sleepy.
“They told us she would be fine in three days but on the Friday she woke up normal and then an hours later she collapsed.
“My wife took Holly to the hospital in Faro it was an hour’s drive from where we were staying in Albufeira.
“I took our youngest, Jacob to my parent’s villa and followed behind.
“It was pretty scary there was around eight or nine doctor in a small room with Holly.
“Her eyes were gone – she just looked out of it.
“It was heart breaking, we expected it to be dehydration but in minutes we were told it was much worse.
“The doctors had thought she had been poisoned.
“We were told that she had thrombosis which had reached her brain on the Friday mid-afternoon.
“On the Saturday morning she didn’t wake up – they took her for an MRI scan and it revealed that she had a stroke on the Friday evening.
“On the Saturday at around 5.30pm we were told Holly had suffered a stroke and we both just fell to the floor crying.
“Holly was then flown to Lisbon – we asked if we could fly with her but we were told no.
“So we had to follow behind in my father rented car – we drove for three hours to get to Lisbon.
“It was the worst three hours of my life.
“We asked the doctors if she would live or die or have brain damage and they couldn’t tell us.
“She had a mask put on her and tubes everywhere – we were told we couldn’t talk or touch her.
“It was the worst time of my life.
“She was in a deep coma but as the days went by she opened her eyes a couple of times but didn’t have full consciousness.”
Mark, a town and account planner, says his daughter has now been left like a newborn child.
He added: “We’ve had to teach her everything again – everything was affected from her speech to her psychical movements.
“Holly can now hear and feel us and laugh at our daft jokes which is a great sign.
“Her legs are getting better and she was able to hold her arms up longer yesterday.
“She’s not able to sit up or eat properly though – so it’s just small steps, it a slow process to recovery.
“She’s funny, cheeky, confident, loves dancing and singing.
“She’s full of character and life but now she’s like a newborn child which is sad to see.
“It just been our worst nightmare. We are spending 14 hours a day in hospital.”
Mark’s family have set up a JustGiving page to help raise money for any further treatment Holly needs.
Mark added: “We don’t know how bad the damage to her will be or how her recovery will go.
“It could be used for any treatment she needs like a wheelchair or anything else.
“But we are hoping it can be used for treat for her like a trip to Disneyland – she’s always wanted to go.”
Beautician Gemma said: “I’m just on autopilot – I’m trying to stay positive for both Mark and Holly but there has been occasions where I have broken down.
“Holly has her own little room and we’ve got an MRI scan today that will hopefully tell us if she can be taken home for more treatment.
“She’s moving her legs but she can’t sit up on her own yet.
“She’s more responsive recently and she’s been laughing and joking with the nurses.
“But she’s been crying because she can’t figure out why she can’t talk.
“I had to keep asking questions – I needed to be realistic and I just wanted to know what was going on.
“I remember asking if she was going to die and the doctors and nurses couldn’t answer me.
“I just wanted to know, I couldn’t get my head around why Holly wasn’t waking up and the doctors wouldn’t really tell us at the time.
“She’s been trying to move her arms but is just shaking – me and Mark are taking that as a good sign because at least we know she is conscious enough to try.
“Holly was in a coma for about five days they told us it could be weeks but the next day she opened her eyes.
“She’d have to have a medical flight home – where she’d be with doctors and anything medical equipment she’d need.
“We didn’t realised the page had been set up – I got a message from a friend asking me if this was my page and found out it was set up my Mark’s cousin. It’s just really lovely.
“Bit it has been really awful, it was our worst nightmare come true.”
Grandmother-of-seven, Deborah Alcock, 57, says she is hoping that the next MRI scan will give the green light for Holly to return home.
She added: “After we dropped Mark at the hospital it was a case of waiting and he messaged me to say that Holly has suffered a stroke.
“It was the worst possible news – she was then airlifted to Lisbon on the Saturday and has been there ever since.
“We flew back on June 15 and took Jacob with us so it’s been a nightmare for them not to see him too.
“I haven’t stopped crying – it’s been hell. Holly is a little fighter.
“Gemma has been a rock – she has been so strong and Holly is just daddy’s little girl.
“We’ve all pulled together as a family, Mark’s brothers have flown to him and we are doing all we can from over here.
“We are hoping from this latest MRI scan that Holly is well enough to come home.”
Anyone wishing to donate, can do so at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nicky-williams-3