Our life changed when Keona Marie Vella turned two – Chris Vella

Malta Independent - - NEWS - Rachel At­tard in Lon­don

“Our lives changed when Keona Marie Vella turned two.” Th­ese were the words of Chris Vella the fa­ther of Keona Marie.

Mr Vella told The Malta In­de­pen­dent that when his daugh­ter, who to­day is nine years old, was a tod­dler she started to suf­fer from a rare epilepsy. This con­di­tion con­tin­ued to get worse when Keona Marie turned five.

He said: “there were many in­stances were we had to rush her to hos­pi­tal be­cause she would need med­i­cal as­sis­tance.”

Mr Vella said that a num­ber of tests and brain scans were car­ried out at Mater Dei Hos­pi­tal, and last year, it was de­cided that Keona Marie be sent to Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal in Lon­don. In this hos­pi­tal which spe­cialises in pae­di­atric care, the lit­tle girl spent the last year shut­tling back and forth be­tween Malta and Lon­don to try and iden­tify what is causing th­ese epilep­tic fits.

With a bro­ken heart the fa­ther told this news­room that since her first fit, Rita Vella his wife, and he him­self barely slept dur­ing the night be­cause Keona Marie mainly suf­fers from them dur­ing the night.

Mr Vella said that in Malta there were times where the girl had to stay in hos­pi­tal for months.

“The big­gest fear our wife and I have is that Keona Marie does not emerge out of the epilep­tic fit; in fact at home we have an oxy­gen cylin­der and other med­i­ca­tions which help her to calm down.”

Mr Vella added that the last four months were very dif­fi­cult be­cause she was reg­u­larly suf­fer­ing from th­ese at­tacks.

The Vella family said that they are well aware that this dif­fi­cult patch in their lives will not be over soon how­ever they said that the pos­i­tive vibe that they have as a family will help them sur­pass this med­i­cal prob­lem.

This news­room also spoke to the lit­tle girl who said that when she is in hos­pi­tal she misses a lot her brother and sis­ter. Koena Marie wanted to thank the med­i­cal staff of Mater Dei and Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal for the care they give her and wanted to make sure to tell us that she al­ways obeys them.

Dur­ing this year the Vella family found a lot of sup­port from the Malta Com­mu­nity Chest Fund Foun­da­tion and Put­tinu Cares to­gether with the Malta House staff. They said that if it wasn’t for them this would have never been pos­si­ble.

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