Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rasmussen’s Encephalitis and seizures

Larissa Harris has a rare brain disease that has left her bedridden.

Her family need your help so that they can bring her home.

Mother of four Chris Harris wants her eldest daughter Larissa to be able to come home on the weekends.

Larissa, who is bedridden, contracted Rasmussen’s Encephalitis early in her life.

The extremely rare brain disease causes progressive inflammation of the brain and affects only one side of the brain.

The inflammation leads to a loss in nerve cells and scar formation, which results in severe disability.

The only cure for the disease is to remove the affected half of the brain.

Larissa’s condition affects her dominant right side, which made the operation not an option.

Now at 27, Larissa still experiences up to 10 seizures a day and is barely able to communicate.

A former student of Merewether High School and the University of Newcastle, Larissa completed her degree in communications in 2005 before her health took a turn for the worse in 2006.

Soon after her 21st birthday she started to experience multiple seizures.

And since then she has lived in Wallsend’s Aged Care Facility.

To bring her home on weekends and special occasions, the family is raising money to buy Larissa specialised equipment.

They aim to raise $9600 in order to buy an electric hospital bed, an electric hoist, a pressure care mattress and high back tilting shower chair for Larissa to use at home.

The equipment being used at the moment is being subsidised by the government but that will soon change as Larissa is staying in residential care during the week, at Wallsend’s Aged Care Facility.

The family, with the help from friends, will hold a giant garage sale this Saturday, February 14, at St John’s Anglican Church Hall in Morehead Street, Lambton, starting from 7.30am.

Before the sale takes place, they are asking for good quality donations to sell at the garage sale – furniture, clothes, books, CDs, crockery, toys and other bric a brac.

People with suitable items to donate can phone Ann on 4952 5619 or Kay on 4969 4286 to arrange a drop off or collection of goods.


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