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When the paralysis hits, Annya can't move, talk or's so scary; Tiredness triggers 3-yr-old's seizures but she refuses to let them beat her COURAGE OF TOT WITH RARE ILLNESS.


IF LITTLE Annya Cook gets too tired, she can be left paralysed for 16 hours.

The three-year-old has an illness that affects one child in a million.

Youngsters with alternating hemiplegia of childhood suffer seizures brought on by different individual triggers - water, exercise, light, food or even strong perfume.

But for Annya, from Dumfries, the danger is tiredness.

Mum Jade, a nurse at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, said: "When it hits her she's unable to move, talk or swallow. It's awful - so scary.

"Her episodes last anything from two hours to 16 and she can go from having just one a month to two a week."

Annya's seizures started when she was eight months old but she was only diagnosed last year.

Jade said: "They thought it was a brain tumour at first.

"Then she was in and out of hospital in Dumfries and Yorkhill for loads of test and scans, but they always showed up clear."

When medics realised Annya had AHC, a disorder of the nervous system, they were able to give her daily medication to make her seizures less frequent. She also has regular physiotherapy to build up her muscles, which are affected by the illness.

And Annya faces whatever she has to go through with courage.

"She deals with it brilliantly," said Jade, who has two other children.

"After she has an episode, she'll be slow for a couple of days.

"But she's doing really well. She's so headstrong. She's started nursery and she just loves going.

"It's hard but you get on with things. There's nothing else for it."

Jade spoke publicly about Annya to raise awareness of the condition and help the AHCUK charity.

She said: "I've been put in touch with other parents who have been through the same thing and that really helps."

Jade's boyfriend Chris and his mates completed the gruelling Tough Mudder obstacle race last week to raise money for AHCUK, and she was so proud of him that she's agreed to do it next year.

For more information on AHC, to find support or make a donation, go to


WEE BATTLER Annya with her mum. Picture: Jim McEwan. Right: With Chris and his pals

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 4, 2015
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