Lifesaving Leeds hospital staff praised after 18-year-old’s battle with rare nerve disorder

Children and childminders from Kool Kids, in Tingley, have raised around �1,000 for LGI's Intensive Care Unit after they treated Sam Powell (right) for a rare illness. Picture by James Hardisty.
Children and childminders from Kool Kids, in Tingley, have raised around �1,000 for LGI's Intensive Care Unit after they treated Sam Powell (right) for a rare illness. Picture by James Hardisty.
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Leeds hospital staff have been praised after they saved a teenager who almost died after being diagnosed with an ultra-rare nerve disorder.

Sam Powell, from Beeston, noticed a tingling sensation in his hands and feet in March this year, before waking up one morning unable to walk.

After the 18-year-old was rushed into Leeds General Infirmary it emerged he had developed Guillian-Barre Syndrome, in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

The condition, which leaves patients unable to move, swallow or breathe unassisted, left the former cleaning company worker in a coma for three days and intensive care for 36 more.

As Sam continues to improve, his girlfriend Charlotte Coffey, a 17-year-old childminder for Kool Kids in Tingley, has helped to raise around £1,000 for LGI’s Intensive Care Unit to show the gratitude of his friends and family.

“I just woke up one day and couldn’t walk, it was really scary,” Sam said. “I’m still not quite as I was, I still can’t walk very far but it’s just a case of getting stronger each day – it can take a year to recover.”

Sam with the children and Kool Kids childminders. Picture by James Hardisty.

Sam with the children and Kool Kids childminders. Picture by James Hardisty.

He said he had to learn to walk again through rehabilitation at Chapel Allerton Hospital after his 10-week illness, which affects just one in 100,000 people and has no known cause.

Charlotte, her workmates and 11 youngsters did a sponsored walk in Tingley to raise funds last month, while an ongoing online auction of rugby league memorabilia has taken their total to £1,000. She added: “I just wanted to do something as they saved his life.”

For more on the appeal email charlottecoffey0@gmail.com.

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