A teenager described as ‘remarkable’ by doctors has miraculously learned to walk again – after suffering an acute spinal stroke at just 13-years-old.
Savannah Geddes was at home with her parents when she began complaining of a tingling in her legs, which suddenly escalated into severe back pain.
An ambulance was called and within hours, Savannah was paralysed from the waist down, losing all movement and sensation in her legs.
She was transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for specialist treatment, with an MRI scan confirming a rare acute spinal shock, which also impacted her bladder and bowel.
A spinal stroke is a disruption in the blood supply to the spinal cord.
The spinal cord depends on a supply of blood to function properly.
A disruption in the blood supply can cause injury or damage to tissues and can block messages – nerve impulses – travelling along the spinal cord.
Mum Sue, 53, explained: “Savannah was in terrible pain and we had no idea what was going on. Although it was stressful, I knew we were going to be in good hands as I know just how good the medical care is in Sheffield.”
Savannah’s condition meant that her daily activities such as getting dressed were temporarily taken over by her family, nursing and healthcare staff.
During her stay at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Savannah underwent daily sessions to encourage her movement and walking.
Thanks to the care she has received, Savannah has begun a remarkable recovery and she is now able to walk again with the help of crutches.
Her strong progress has been praised as “extraordinary” by hospital staff and Savannah has since been able to return home.
Even while her recovery continues, Savannah, from Scunthorpe, Lincs., and her family have devoted themselves to fundraising incredible amounts for The Children’s Hospital Charity – raising over £3,642 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
This includes over £1,200 from a 1960s Charity night organised by local businessman, David Whitely, as well as £442 raised by friend of the family Anne Parkinson.
Sue added: “I can’t thank Sheffield Children’s Hospital enough, they’ve been absolutely amazing.
“The staff make her feel so special and I have no doubt that they’ve aided Savannah’s determination.
“I’ve been so proud of her throughout this difficult time. If our fundraising can help other children too, it will be more than worth it.”
The Children’s Hospital Charity are urging people in the run-up to Christmas to join Savannah in fundraising for their National Elf Service appeal, which encourages people to “dress up and get elfy” on Friday 13th December.
Last Christmas, people donned elf hats, slippers, Christmas jumpers and even arranged visits from Santa Claus, raising £33,000 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Abbie Pervin, Regional Fundraising Manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “It’s heart-warming to hear about Savannah’s strong recovery and we’re so grateful to her, her family and her friends for all their fantastic fundraising for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
“We continue to wish her all the best in her recovery. The money they have raised will make a huge difference and this December, we’re calling on you to ‘elf yourself’ and change children’s lives too.”