A Whakatāne girl underwent emergency brain surgery to reduce the chances of brain damage after suffering a head injury while on holiday in the US.
According to the Givealittle page set up to raise funds for her family, Alyssa Ledbetter, 11, complained of a severe headache, neck pain, blurry vision and numbness in her legs after swimming with family on July 21
As she emerged from the water her father said they knew from the symptoms it was likely to be a spinal or head injury.
They got her to the lifeguard tower, where a doctor nearby assisted but Alyssa’s condition deteriorated quickly.
She lost control of her bodily functions and began to have uncontrollable seizures.
The brain surgery doctors said Alyssa had two arteriovenous malformations (AVM) in the frontal cortex of her brain.
Alyssa was taken to surgery immediately where they drilled through her skull to relieve the pressure and drain the fluids. She remained in the intensive care unit while her brain slowly healed.
Once discharged from the hospital, she would have to complete an outpatient treatment programme before being allowed to return to New Zealand.
The Givealittle page is helping the family raise money to cover medical expenses, including the cost of surgery, ongoing CT and MRI scans, medications and various travel and accommodation expenses.