Manchester 14-year-old can't speak after suffering "over 100 seizures" on Spanish holiday
"She’s been to hell and back many times in her life, but this is the battle of her life"
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A devastated dad says his daughter has been left unable to speak after she suffered 'over 100 seizures' while on holiday in Spain.
Mark Tucker, 50, said Eva Tucker, 14, had dozens of epileptic fits during a break to the coastal town of Peniscola.
He described the ordeal as a “waking nightmare”.
The dad-of-two said his wonderful “little princess” had lived with the brain disorder - which causes recurring seizures - since she was around five months old.
But while she was on the beach break with her mum Sarah Tucker, 48, and sister Alice, 16, in July, she began uncontrollably fitting before being rushed to hospital.
Shocked Sarah recognised the seizures hadn’t stopped even when she was in the ICU - as she was “grinding her teeth” and locking her jaw in place, Mark said.
And Eva was then put into a three-week coma by doctors, who later found she had sadly suffered brain damage, affecting the mobility on the left side of her body.
Mark jetted off to Spain a few days later and realised how serious her condition was when he saw her covered in tubes and “struggling for every breath”.
She was later brought back to Manchester, for further treatment and although Eva has made some progress, Mark said she is in the “battle of her life”.
He said: “She’s such a little battler.
"She’s been to hell and back many times in her life, but this is the battle of her life, and she’s yet again showing what she’s made of.
“It’s been like a waking nightmare. I’ve seen her in a coma a few times, I’ve seen her desperately ill before.
“You never get used to it, and it breaks your heart just a little bit more every time.
He added: “She whispered ‘daddy’ to me weeks and weeks ago, but she’s got a long way to go to speak again. I’ve got every faith she will speak.”
Mark, a product director from Bolton, Grtr Manchester, said Eva had gone on holiday to Spain with his ex-partner Sarah and his other daughter, Alice, in July.
But while she was playing on a beach near the Eastern coastal town of Peniscola on July 18, she was struck down by a series of fits, which were brought on by a virus.
He said: “She just had this seizure and didn’t really come out of it like she normally does.
“She kept on having more and more. They called 112, and they took her to a medical centre, which was literally 30m away, just behind the beach.
“Alice and Sarah didn’t realise the severity until they saw some paramedics come rushing out.
“And then the next thing they knew, she was being helicoptered to one of the big University hospitals."
Mark said Sarah had made her way to the critical care ward by car, but when she arrived, she realised Eva's medical incident was not over.
He said: "They put her straight into the ICU, got her settled and thought she was fine, but then Sarah noticed that she was grinding her teeth, locking her jaw and head.
“She realised she was actually still having seizures, so it was full panic stations.
“She’d been having seizures the whole time. At a guess, she’d been having over a 100 seizures - all short little seizures - but that led to oxygen starvation to her brain.”
Mark arrived in Spain two days later where doctors revealed that Eva had legions all over the surface of her brain, which had affected the movement on her left side.
She was later brought back to the UK on a medevac plane, covered by her insurance, before being transferred to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
Mark praised medical staff both in Spain and Britain for the treatment they’d given to Eva and said he hoped that she might make it back home before Christmas.
He said: “We obviously desperately want her to get up, ride a horse and swim.
"She was such an active, wonderful funny little girl. We just really want to get her back. But the ladies looking after her are just wonderful.
“We’re hoping she’ll be discharged before Christmas because she loves it so much.
"It’s a wonderful time of the year for all of us. So we just want to get her home for that.”
Mark recently ran an ultramarathon to raise money for the charity Young Epilepsy, which transforms the lives affected by the condition.
Donations are still being accepted here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/mark-tucker-1690062029859