A MOTHER has praised her 12-year-old daughter after revealing how she suffers from a rare and incurable condition which makes her sick as many as 100 times in a day.
Alisha Atkinson suffers from cyclic vomiting syndrome, a condition which has no known cause but leaves patients being sick for days or even weeks at a time.
Alisha’s mother, Maggie Atkinson, says that her daughter does her best to live life to the full despite the limiting condition, which strikes particularly whenever Alisha is stressed or nervous.
Mrs Atkinson, 45, of Wakefield, said that it is not known how many people suffer from it and doctors could not diagnose young Alisha for months.
She said: “Alisha was six when she first began being sick a lot. None of the medical staff knew anything about it.
“I’ve never met anyone else with the condition.
“The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with Alisha and they thought she had appendicitis at first because of her stomach pains, then irritable bowel syndrome.
“She had loads of blood tests and scans and eventually the doctors told us about this condition.
“It’s difficult to come to terms with such a strange condition that we’d never heard of before - and when they told us there was no cure it was hard to hear.
“The worst episode was when Alisha was sick about 100 times in 24 hours. She was so dehydrated.
“She can’t eat when she’s being sick but she can still drink - although she still gets very dehydrated and at these times we have to take her to hospital.
“When she’s ill it’s so unpredictable – she can go to school in the morning completely fine but then I’ll get a call to let me know she’s ill and needs to come home.
“I think it’s caused when she is stressed or worked up about something – that seems to trigger an episode.
“We can never plan anything. We can’t go shopping, on a day out or even holiday because there’s always the risk that poor Alisha will get ill.”
Mrs Atkinson, who also has a son, Luke, 14, said the one time the family did enjoy a holiday, Alisha fell ill on the way home and they went straight to the hospital from the airport.
Alisha even had to postpone her birthday celebrations recently because she was too ill.
Despite her illness Alisha has managed to put on a brave face and has kept up her school grades.
Mrs Atkinson said she was “so proud” of her daughter.