A 16-year-old girl suffering from a terrifying mystery condition which has left her covered in a painful rash may NEVER fully recover, doctors have said.
Vicky Archer’s body is being ravaged by the illness, which mum Alison Archer believes could have been caused by mosquito bite.
It has left her covered in a painful, itchy rash, bleeding from the mouth, confused and suffering memory loss.
The A star student has been seriously ill in hospital for more than ten weeks and finally had a full-body MRI scan on Monday, after it was postponed by the hospital.
But baffled doctors remain unable to diagnose her bizarre condition – and have no idea what caused it.
They told Alison, 45, that Vicky, of Yate, Bristol, is likely to spend the next two or three months in hospital and take up to two years to get better, but may never fully recover.
Since sharing shocking photos of her daughter, mum-of-three Alison, a carer, and IT manager husband Michael, 52, have been sent dozens of possible diagnoses.
Suggestions include Dengue Fever and malaria, but medics are treating her for autoimmune encephalitis, the name for a group of neuro-psychiatric conditions.
The family believe Vicky’s condition could have been triggered by a mosquito bite she suffered on a family holiday to Menorca in August, which has since flared up.
“Vicky is likely to be in hospital for next two or three months, possibly taking up to two years to recover, however, she may not make a full recovery.
“It’s much a wait and see situation.”
She added: “My husband and I are still obviously worried about her condition. She has a long way to go yet.”
Alison said that Bristol Children’s Hospital, where Vicky is being treated, have tested for a range of conditions.
They are treating her for autoimmune encephalitis, which was first diagnosed in 2007 and can cause loss of consciousness, cognitive decline and seizures.
Alison added: “Neurology consultants say in ten years’ time they will know more about autoimmune encephalytis and the antibodies involved.
“Therefore we may not get a conclusive result however, from Vicky’s symptoms they are convinced that she has autoimmune encephalytis and are treating her for this.
“Cause unknown at present, I now feel that it is unlikely we will pinpoint the cause.
“I find it too coincidental that what she said was a mosquito bite did not disappear and she had it flare up twice while she was ill in hospital.”
Alison and Michael are also trying to find out more about a hydrocarbon leak in the sea near where they were staying, where dead fish were seen floating in the sea.
“It was only on this occasion when they were snorkeling that they noticed the dead fish.
“We just don’t know what has caused Vicky’s illness and we’re just enquiring as to whether anyone else had information about the hydrocarbon leak in the sea.
“We googled and discovered the leak may take weeks to clear in the sea and can be carried by the tide.”
Vicky’s condition has left her with severe memory loss – unable to recognise her mum, tell left from right or do simple tasks like swallowing food and reading.
She started suffering from sleep problems, wet the bed, became less coherent in her speech and started acting out of character, Alison said.
Usually an A-star student, the teen was even kept behind after a class for disrupting a lesson – something she would never do.
By mid-September she had developed a sensitivity to light and noise, her eyelids were fluttering and she had gone “a bit doolally”.
She was admitted to hospital on September 21 after her concerned mum took her to the GP and they advised her to go to A&E.
Since then, she has lost more than a stone, is covered from head to toe in a rash and her 15th birthday on October 22 was spent in isolation.