Alicja's progress stuns doctors as little 'fighter' battles rare illness
Published 12/08/2011 | 05:00
A BRAVE little girl, whose complex illness left her with 14 major defects from birth and little chance of survival, has stunned the medical world with her progress.
Alicja Nowicki (2) was born with a rare illness that was so severe that baffled doctors warned her parents to fear the worst.
The Cork-born toddler suffers from one of the most serious known cases of Charge Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects just in one in 10,000 babies.
In Alicja's case, the illness has left her completely deaf, almost blind, unable to swallow, with breathing and heart problems and a deformed leg.
Parents Ania and Radek Nowicki, who live in Ballintemple in Cork, now hope that their only child's "incredible fighting spirit" will let her live as normal a life as possible.
They recently met a leading US-based surgeon, who assured them he would be able to reconstruct Alicja's leg and club foot.
After further surgery for her hearing and another to allow her to swallow food, she will no longer have to be fed through a tube attached to her stomach.
Ania (32), originally from Wrocklaw in south-western Poland, said: "She is a real fighter. She got through her heart surgery when she was three weeks old."
The leg surgery in the US will set them back $130,000 (€91,000).
For more information, including details of how to donate, see alicja.org.