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PATIENT STORIES

Meet Aella

Bubbly three-year-old Aella has experienced a lifetime of suffering with severe pain throughout her body. She has visited various doctors and hospitals in the United Arab Emirates and Port Elizabeth since birth, which only lead to her being misdiagnosed.

Aella, who was unable to move or walk, arrived at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital three weeks ago. She was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. It is caused by inflammation of the joints, which has caused Aella severe pain, stiffness and loss of motion in her body. It is also known as an autoimmune disease, where instead of the immune system fighting off harmful bacteria, the immune system actually attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues.

Within 24 hours of drug therapy and the right treatment, Aella was able to slowly start moving her arms and legs and after one week she could walk again. She has responded so well to the treatment that she feels no pain at all. The doctors are very positive that with proper medication and health care, little Aella can lead a normal life.

Emma, Aella’s mom, says that the first week at Red Cross Children’s Hospital was the best week of her life. “Everyone is so helpful and the doctors and nurses are amazing at what they do and took such good care of my girl.”

Aella and her mom are also so grateful that Kulula has booked a flight home for them through the Children’s Hospital Trust.  Aella can’t wait to see her dad and younger brother back home in Port Elizabeth.

This energetic child will be returning to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in January for a check-up and if everything goes well, she can go back to school. Thanks to Kulula, Aella and her mother can spend Christmas with their family in Port Elizabeth.

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