Fund set up to help family of little girl struck down with rare illness

Family friends of a little girl from Wicklow who has been struck down with a rare illness have set up a fund to help with her family's living expenses.

Fund set up to help family of little girl struck down with rare illness

Poppy Mernagh, who is just two and a half years old, contracted enterovirus and pneumonia late last month which led to her developing a condition called Transverse Myelitis, that only affects one person in 800,000.

The condition causes inflammation to the spinal cord which can in turn cause damage to nerve fibres which may be irreversible.

She is paralysed from the chin down and unable to breathe by herself and doctors will only be able to assess the extent of damage to her nerve fibres once the inflammation has dissipated.

On the fundraising Facebook page Poppy is described as a lively little girl: "...she was always up to mischief and devilment. She was a very independent, vibrant and quite advanced for her age. Poppy could go nowhere without people commenting and adoring her beautiful curly hair."

She is currently being treated at the ICU in Temple Street hospital, Dublin.

A further complication to Poppy's battle to get better has been her diagnosis with Non-Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis.

Her mother Jennifer has had to leave her job to care for her and friends of the family have set up a page for well-wishers to donate to the cost of Poppy's family's living expenses.

"Our feelings over the least 10 days have ranged over the full spectrum of emotion. The shock as a fully active "live wire" little girl, Poppy was first diagnosed with tonsillitis which then became pneumonia and then morphed into Transverse Myelitis resulting in total paralysis from the chin down.

"The journey over the last week has been one where little signs of progress were quickly followed by a worsening condition. Our spirits and hopes raised to be dashed with the new reality and the worry for the future life for our Poppy.

"We have been fortified by the amazing generosity of spirit that our friends and colleagues have shown us and this gives us strength. The staff in Temple Street Children's hospital have been wonderful and we take comfort in knowing that Poppy is in the best of hands."

The page has so far raised in excess of €4,000.

You can donate to Poppy's fund  here .

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