Clitheroe family's delight as brave 'cardiac warrior' Hollie (10) is officially in remission

A courageous 10-year-old girl from Clitheroe, who was left paralysed down the right-hand side of her body and unable to speak due to a cruel illness, has been given the all-clear.

By Faiza Afzaal
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 12:30 pm

Fun-loving Hollie has fought a huge battle for the past eight months to get to this point.

The youngster, who attends Pendle Primary School, began to feel unwell last July. She was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital and after undergoing a series of tests and investigations, the doctors discovered three tumours in her heart. She was immediately rushed to Alder Hey Children's Hospital, in Liverpool, where she underwent emergency open heart surgery to remove the tumours.

A few days later the family's world came crashing down when medical experts revealed the biopsy results had returned and showed the tumours were cancerous.

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Fun-loving Hollie has fought a huge battle for the past eight months to get to this point.

Treatment began immediately and Hollie, who has a twin sister, Sofia and eight-year-old brother, Jake, endured chemotherapy. Once the first round of treatment was complete, Hollie’s family were told she could go home until the next round. They packed everything up and were ready to spend time together as a family, however, she had an echocardiogram before leaving and the cardiologist revealed a blood clot was found in Hollie’s heart. She was unable to be discharged and instead began receiving treatment.

Sadly, a week later, the blood clot detached from Hollie's heart and travelled to her brain, causing the youngster to suffer a devastating stroke, which left her paralysed all the way down the right-hand side of her body and unable to speak. Hollie underwent months of rehab to try and overcome the effects of the brain injury, as well as continuing with her cancer battle.

Now, eight months on, not only has Hollie been discharged from Alder Hey Children's Hospital, the family enjoyed "the best Christmas they could have wished for" after hearing Hollie's latest oncology scans showed no evidence of the cancers.

She continues to be monitored every six weeks, but according to the family, her heart is in perfect working order. Her delighted parents, Ryan and Louisa, said: "Hollie is doing really well. The stroke has had the biggest impact out of everything she has gone through in terms of her future needs. She’s made incredible progress with her walking and now walks short distances unaided. Her speech has come back although she has word finding difficulties especially when there’s a lot of background noise. She has had to learn to write with her left hand as she has limited function in her right arm and hand. Her cognition has been really affected which includes her memory, attention and personality. She is, and always has been, very determined with her rehab and she makes us so proud every day."

Hollie's family are delighted that she's been given the "all-clear"

They went onto say: "She still has a lot of rehab needs and has been offered a place at the Children's Trust residential neuro rehab unit. This is in Surrey and will mean the family will have to be separated again for up to three months. Hollie will receive intense rehab which will hopefully improve her quality of life and reduce the need for future surgical interventions."

The couple expressed their gratitude to everyone for their kindness. "We really want to thank everyone who has helped us throughout this horrendous journey. The fundraising has been amazing - saying 'thank you' doesn’t seem to be enough! We would also like to thank everyone at Alder Hey who have saved Hollie's life.

"Hollie wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them and we will forever be grateful that we have been able to bring her home."