Nine-year-old Alyssa Tompkins is on life support at Levine Children's Hospital. She has an urgent need for your good thoughts.
Her parents are Jeff and Cindy Tompkins. They say Alyssa, a rising 4th grader, is fighting Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (GPA). It's a disease formerly known as Wegener’s Granulomatosis.
I’d never heard of it either.
It’s really unfair kids live with illnesses adults can’t even pronounce.
But I digress… GPA is a rare autoimmune disorder where blood vessels become inflamed, leading to damage in major organs of the body. It can be severe. Prompt treatment is critical. It’s a monster of a disease. It's causing Alyssa's kidneys and lungs to not operate properly.
Tonya Ratliff is a friend who reached out on the Tompkins behalf. (Jeff and Cindy let us know Tonya could speak for them. They said they’re too tied up at the hospital to even form thoughts.)
“Jeff and Cindy face a parent’s worst nightmare,” Tonya said. “The doctors gave a 10% chance of survival at the time of her prognosis three weeks ago.”
Tonya said she knows doctors have stats and that Alyssa is really sick, but she also knows Alyssa.
“She’ll prove them wrong,” Tonya said. “She already is proving them wrong. She's a strong little girl.”
Jeff and Cindy wanted to “thank” the community for coming together during this “extremely difficult time”. There have been multiple fundraisers because the family faces multiple obstacles. Besides the severity of Alyssa’s illness, Tonya says there is limited household income and an increased problem in finding vacation time from work to spend their days as dedicated caregivers.
“They’re trying to do the best they can” Tonya said. “The focus is on Alyssa. She loves the outdoors and her 4-wheeler. We all want her to get better and do what she loves again.”
It’s a striking picture. She’s a beautiful girl. So much of this is hard to understand.
Lots of thoughts heading your way, Alyssa. Maybe more than you know. Tons of people reading this right now want you to feel their support.
Keep fighting and prove those doctors and their statistics wrong.
*Editor’s note: This is about one of #MollysKids, children WBTV Anchor Molly Grantham follows closely on her Facebook page. It was first published there – which is why it’s written in a personal way. For years Molly has followed hundreds of kids with uphill medical battles. Find this story (and updates on all #MollysKids) here.