A YOUNG girl who suffered up to 80 seizures a day has started high school and her family is hoping to inspire others with her journey.

Ella Hansford, from Chapelford, was first admitted to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital aged six in January 2013 and after months of tests she was diagnosed with epilepsy.

A year on, Ella was back to her old self; her seizures were under control and she was enjoying life as a six-year-old.

But five years later on a holiday in Portugal, Ella was back to square one, having between 40 and 50 seizures a day.

Ella’s mum Kirstie, said: “An overnight observation at Warrington Hospital turned into a three-month stay at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Ella missed her first day at high school and regressed to a shell of her former self.

“She had up to 80 seizures a day and developed behaviour and learning issues.

“Ella was eventually diagnosed with Ring Chromosome 20 in November and doctors believe it is unlikely she will ever get better.

“Every day is a struggle; getting dressed, having medicine, just doing the things that we take for granted.

“R(20) has had a huge impact on all of our lives; will Ella ever leave home? Will she ever stop having seizures? – these are the questions we are asking ourselves daily.”

Warrington Guardian: Ella Hansford with her dad Carl Ella Hansford with her dad Carl

Ella is now at home but has not had a seizure-free day since June 2018 and is still suffering between two and five seizures a day.

The 12-year-old started at Great Sankey High School in January and the family are slowly getting the support they need.

While Ella ‘looks normal’, Kirstie says she can be frowned upon due to her behaviour and ‘little oddities’.

She said: “If only those ignorant people knew the challenges she faces on a daily basis.”

Ella’s dad Carl will soon tackle the Inca Trail in Peru to fundraise for Alder Hey Children’s Charity which involves more than 60 km of hiking across mountainous terrain at altitudes of 4.2 kilometres.

Carl and Kirstie said: “With a three month stay at Alder Hey Children’s hospital we witnessed the incredible work carried out, and the care provided by the staff.

“They work around the clock to ensure you are cared for. Ella enjoyed many activities such as musical time and magicians and we know these brightened up bad days and kept her stimulated.

“We had a lot of time to reflect and wanted to give something back, both as a thank you and to ensure they maintain the same facilities for other children.

“We want to raise the profile of children and their families who suffer in silence. Who knows what the future holds for Ella, all we know is that she is one special little lady.”

You can donate to Carl’s fundraising efforts here.