A local girl from the Byron Bay hinterland was bitten last week by a tiger snake whilst tending the family’s chook pen. 11-year-old London shares her home with her parents and her four young brothers and sisters (and their chickens and dogs).
London was bitten by the tiger snake on Tuesday 19 November 2019, and was rushed to Lismore Base Hospital, but because of the seriousness of her condition, she was then urgently airlifted to a specialist hospital in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Her parents and extended family have remained by her bedside in Brisbane since then.
London’s mother has updated concerned friends and neighbours, telling them:
"We know that London can feel the love from you all so keep it coming! She is fighting hard!”
“She is moving forward now slow and steady.....responsive but heavily sedated and still too weak to remove the ventilator but her numbers are all trending back towards normal so the toxins are almost gone and we can work on repair.”
The latest report is that London is currently on kidney dialysis because of all the damage done by both the snake venom and the administered anti-venom breaking down her muscles and is expected to remain in that way for some time after she wakes. The attending medical staff are leaving her sedated for a few more days, but she needs to regain her strength. She remains very weak with no muscle strength at all. The family understand that it is not possible for her muscles to deplete any more now and it will be a slow recovery from here.
London’s mother continues:
“Like us, I know you are all desperate to know a time frame for her recovery but there really is no way to tell. Treating a snakebite is not something that’s done very often it seems, so it’s all a waiting game. The doctors are learning a lot while treating her so that’s one positive. We have decided to donate samples of London’s tissue for snake bite research, so London will be stoked at that."
“My heart breaks for our baby girl and all the end of year joy that she will miss, especially being her last year of primary school. We dearly hope that she gets to start high school on time next year.”
Friends and neighbours have started this GoFundMe page for London and her family to assist them with the myriad of costs that will be involved for them with London’s immediate hospital treatment and into her longer-term recovery, including medical costs, accommodation costs in Brisbane whilst London remains hospitalised there, lost income for her parents not being at work during this very trying period and costs associated with the ongoing care and well-being of London’s other young siblings.
Please help this little girl go back home strong to her chickens!
27 NOVEMBER 2019 UPDATE:
From London's mother:
"It really does only take a split second for your world to change completely and that is what has happened to our beautiful Londi Loo! .What a trooper she is! Watching this kid fight for her life has blown me away! I am both shattered and amazed continually each day, we have always said it, but now I am certain that her spirit is unbreakable!"
"London remains heavily sedated on a cocktail of drugs that is solid enough to stop a horse in it’s tracks, her level of muscle breakdown from the effects of the snake venom is severe but it looks like those levels have peaked and plateaued, and hopefully she is past her rock bottom."
"She is, and will remain, unable to breath on her own for quite some time to come until all her muscles, including those she needs to breath, begin to rebuild and her pain levels stabilise more. Because of this, she will have a tracheotomy later in the week so the breathing tubes can be removed from her throat and she can be more comfortable which will hopefully reduce the level of sedation required."
"The aim is to get her to a stage of better communication by lip reading as she still won’t be able to speak."
London has now moved to a new room in the hospital where she is getting some natural light and is starting on a mobilisation program (involving physiotherapy, initiating small movements so that she doesn’t stiffen too much) and will start music therapy very soon.
London's mother continues:
"She is responsive with head nod/shake and can squeeze our hand and can cooperate with Physio for some movements. She can’t yet open her eyes but her little spirit is shining through them still, just itching to take back control of her body!! it’s just a matter of time and patience from all of us."
London has weeks/months of recovery ahead of her and unfortunately her family has been forced to resign themselves to not expecting that she will be home for Christmas. But we know that she and her family will be doing everything she can to start high school on time next year with her beloved school and neighbourhood friends and community.
- Susie Selvey
- Murwillumbah Vulcans Junior AFL
- Emerald Valley
- Hiroi Sakuyama
- Karleen & Adam Debenham
Fundraising team: TeamGoonies (3)
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