A confused couple talked about how their three-year-old daughter died after being on the way back from a dream holiday in the Maldives suffered an attack.
Ava Akers was taken to a hospital in the Maldivian mainland before her health deteriorated and was transferred to Bangkok.
Before entering the coma, she was diagnosed with a rare virus and soon after she died at home, reports Birmingham Live.
Her sad parents, Phill and Helen of Shropshire, decided to launch a charity organization called Ava's Angels, who are helping the families in need at the Birmingham Children's Hospital for Food and Emergency.
Phill, who works for the global digital IT company, said: "Ava was totally healthy for three years, enjoyed ballet, swimming, pre-school education and was looking forward to starting school in September.
"We are enthusiastic travelers and took her to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, Italy, Cyprus and Barbados among others.
"In the Maldives, we had a brilliant holiday in March 2017 when we caught a sea plane to the island and watched the bakers who were feeding and hunting the crabs on the beach and diving what they immediately took.
"We were at the mainland airport to return to Dubai, then to Birmingham, when we asked her whether I would like to pick something from a gift shop as a souvenir."
She let him down, which was different from Ava, because she was never embarrassed.
"Then she fell to the ground with an atonous attack. Her eyes turned back, her hands went straight to her, and her body was shaking.
"Helen caught her and I picked her up and ran around the airport and asked me for help."
"She suffocated, I never saw a child who had an attack, it was so terrible, I thought she was going to die.
"About a minute, everything was silent, and then the Italian man finally arrived, another passenger, who offered us moral support until the emergency services arrived.
"It was around 3 in the morning and we did not have a local currency. In Maldives you have to pay in advance for treatment and our credit cards have been blocked because this was an unusual request.
"Over time, he paid one of the airport staff so that we could start treatment and then pay him back. We were so grateful.
"Ava stabilized, but it took about two hours because we got a list of medicines and equipment that we had to go and buy from the pharmacy opposite and return to the hospital with them.
"It was traumatic, but when they started, the staff did everything possible and improved.
"We moved to a larger hospital and spent the week there. She returned to normal, singing, dancing, eating and watching Trolls on the iPad – she loved this movie.
"Doctors thought she had a throat infection and an urine infection. The compound effect could cause attacks at younger than five years, but they said it would be fine."
"We felt so happy that it would be fine.
"We talked to the head doctor of our insurance company to arrange a flight home.
"But this afternoon Ava really felt bad, she began to hallucinate and began to cry a lot. She lost her balance and could not walk.
"Doctors have done an MRI scan and lumbar puncture to see the cerebral spinal fluid in her head to check that there is no meningitis.
"They showed me the MRI and I saw it terrible. Two white areas that showed swelling in the brain of Ana. They said we had to bring her to another hospital and at that point she fell into a coma."
"The insurance company arranged medical evacuation of Learjet 45 with a doctor and a nurse who brought us to one of the best private hospitals in the world in Bangkok.
"Ava performed additional tests and was placed on a life support machine. Its response rate was one that meant every minute, just one breath.
"Here she was diagnosed with Epstein Barr Viral Encephalitis (EBV), a glandular fever form that enters the brain into the blood in a fraction of cases, which slows down and causes catastrophic damage to the substance.
"Ava received treatment with immunoglobulins – many antibodies that boosted her immune system and steroids into the brain.
"In the younger of five, it is very rare, in the world there were only about 20 children and 18 of them completely recovered.
They said that Ava will be one of those who will recover and fill us with hope that everything will be fine.
"Although Ava was in a coma, they said that we had to return to the United Kingdom.
"It was a great relief to come home – we thought she would have a rehabilitation, and all this would be a wicked story when she was older."
"After three weeks in Bangkok, we were evacuated back to the United Kingdom on a medical plane. Only one of us was there to be able to decide if something happened during the flight." Helen said I should go and fly. separately.
"In India, Russia and Austria, we needed 24 hours to stop in order to fill the fuel, while the Ava rose rapidly during the year, but the doctors managed to stabilize it. We spent the whole trip on tenterhooks to trigger an attack .
We were waiting for an ambulance at the Terminal at Birmingham Airport and we were quickly forced into an intensive care unit in Stoke, as Birmingham was full.
"Ava spent three days there and she was taken out of a life support machine when she started breathing herself. That was fantastic."
But she never opened her eyes.
"She was transferred to a highly dependent Birmingham hospital and spent three months and a half in recovery.
"But it remained dystonic (a neurological disturbance of motion that causes shaking). Her muscles began to sink, her eyes opened, but she could not blink.
"Doctors have put us down and said:" Ava will not recover from this, she will never lead a normal life. Ava you know is gone. "
"We heard that sometimes in a pressurized compressed oxygen tank in hyperbaric oxygen, it could have helped us to try it four days a week for six weeks, but did not help it.
"We said it could help us if we were to take her home. They said it was worth trying, because sometimes you can help them with rehabilitation if you get your child back to their home surroundings."
"But then we did not realize she was blind and deaf because of brain damage. Her eyes were perfect, but her brain could not calculate the signals.
"We learned how to feed her and give her medicines and muscle relaxants to give her some comfort so that she could bring her home on weekends, and then take her back to the hospital.
"After four months of hospital treatment, doctors asked us whether we want to start palliative care or if we want to maintain it.
"We decided to start palliative care because we thought it was the most beautiful thing we can do when you have a baby who is so badly bad.
"She did not have a quality of life.
"We continued to bring her home, and that was at home, on 29 July, when our beautiful girl Ava died.
Epstein Barr Virus encephalitis, which affects children, is so rare that none of the consultants we met from the United Kingdom and overseas countries has ever seen a patient with this condition and can not explain why this happened, which is very hard to understand.
"The same vicar led her baptism and her funeral, and he said that he headed the service for people who were 80 who did not travel to as many places as Ava."
"She loved traveling and we are happy that she has experienced so much in her short life.
"She was so fun, loving and full of personality.
While living in a hospital bed with Ava, we were extremely fortunate that we had family and friends who supported us, bringing us food, supplies and emotional support in the worst of our lives.
When you do this, forget to eat and drink and take care of yourself.
Inspired by Ava and from the point of view of the importance of support when caring for a bad child, we started with Ava's Angela in March 2018 to provide support to the families of sick children while staying in the hospital.
We are aware that not all families have this support, and we want to help them with the growth of our network of supporters, volunteers and sponsors.
We recently worked with a children's hospital in Birmingham, and we will officially start on Saturday, April 6th.
We have already done a lot for collecting money – golf days, marathons and sports events, and more.
Helen, who works as an accountant, was heavily involved with the Dadley Leisure Netball club and the wider netball community has done a lot to support us.
We can organize all this so that volunteers get lunch orders for families and take them, which will help them to take more time to care for their baby when they need them the most.
You can find more information here and contact us: [email protected]