Penny is a beautiful, vibrant 13 year old who has suddenly and unexpectedly been struck by a serious illness.
Several weeks ago, without warning, Penny experienced her first seizure. She was diagnosed with a classic case of Adolescent Onset Epilepsy and sent home with the expectation that anti-convulsants would manage the seizures. They didn't. In fact, since then, the seizures have increased in both frequency and duration, to the point there has been little respite. Penny was admitted to the Westmead Children's Hospital a week ago and from there things have really taken a turn for the worse. At this stage it is looking like she has Autoimmune Encephalitis resulting in swelling of the brain, but it will still be some days before this is confirmed.
Penny is gravely ill, but she is a fighter and is fighting with all her might.
She is still very much in the acute stage of her illness, and there are still many questions to be answered, but one thing is very clear - Penny's recovery will be lengthy. It could take months or even years and will bring with it many ups and downs. The true implications of this illness may not be realised for some time.
Barb, Simon and their other 3 children have put their lives on hold as they live a 5 hour drive from the hospital and Penny needs her family to be with her.
I know that many people desperately want to help in some way. I am hoping that we can soften the expense of living away from home to support Penny while she recovers.
If you can spare a few dollars to help this beautiful family, I know it would be greatly appreciated.