A YOUNG girl from Ellesmere Port has died from a disease so rare she was only the third person in the world to have it.
Seven-year-old Aliesha Palin had been diagnosed with the genetic condition Carvajal syndrome, which affects the heart, two years ago.
It led to her suffering two debilitating strokes before her sudden death on Sunday, November 9.
And her younger sister Lucy, nearly two, has also been diagnosed with the condition – making her the fourth in the world.
Mum Kristine Palin, 29, who lives with Lucy, her other daughter Bethany, 10, and fiancé Lee Morgan, 35, in Worcester Walk, said she wants to raise awareness of the rare condition.
She explained: “Aliesha was diagnosed at the age of five.
“In April 2006 she was admitted to hospital and found to have an enlarged heart.
“We later learned that is one of the three main symptoms of Carvajal syndrome; the others are very fine hair and very dry, flaky skin.
“That May she went into Alder Hey Hospital, having had two strokes. She had to teach herself to walk again properly.
“After two months she was released and started at Whitby Heath Primary.
“In October 2006 a doctor from America diagnosed Carvajal syndrome. She was also treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London because of the effect on her heart.
“She was the third such case known worldwide, and Lucy became the fourth.
“I was pregnant with Lucy when we were made aware of Aliesha’s condition, which is genetic. When I gave birth in January 2007, we found out Lucy had it too.
“It was a big blow. Lucy is now under a cardiologist.”
Big sister Bethany has been given the all-clear.
Miss Palin said of that Sunday: “Aliesha was on a lot of medication but was as well as she had ever been.
“One minute she was playing and the next she was gone. She had been going to have a heart transplant in the future.
“Aliesha was a marvellous inspiration and role model to her younger sister. Now we want to raise awareness of this rare condition.
“I thank all our family, friends and neighbours for their help and support, the doctors who looked after her and Whitby Heath staff who have been marvellous. I can’t express how fantastic they have all been.”
Aliesha’s funeral will be at 11am tomorrow (Thursday) at Our Lady’s Church in Ellesmere Port.
Mourners are asked not to wear black, but wear yellow as that was Aliesha’s favourite colour. Donations to the British Heart Foundation.