EXPATRIATES and residents in Marbella have rallied to help raise money for a local Spanish girl who remains in hospital after losing all four limbs to septicaemia last summer.
Expatriates have joined with the family of Sarah Almagro Vallejo, 18, from Marbella, since she was taken to Costa del Sol Hospital on the night of July 23. She was found to have contracted septicaemia, a bacterial blood infection which almost took her life.
A fundraising drive has since been set up for Sarah, with a charity also set to be founded in her name to help other septicaemia patients and to support their families.
Sarah, a keen sportswoman and law student, has been documenting her illness and recovery on Facebook. She said everything began on the night of July 23 when she came down with felt like a fever and began vomiting.
“My mum took me to a health centre at midnight and the doctors there gave me something to settle my stomach. The following day I felt worse so I was taken to the emergency ward at Marbella Hospital,” Sarah said.
“The last thing I remember was screaming in agony before being put in a room,” she added.
Sarah said blood tests showed she had contracted septicaemia from a bug which caused several of her organs to collapse.
“I went into shock and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit in Marbella Hospital,” she said.
Sarah spent 10 days in a coma and she has since undergone several operations, including amputations and dialysis treatment. Her family said she was still in the early stages of what they have termed her ‘reconstruction’.
“Sarah has been a natural athlete ever since childhood. She did football, tennis, basketball, swimming, running, judo, crossfit and surfing, the latter on a regular basis.
“She was all set to start her first year in university studying law. Her studies, along with sports, are two things she is not willing to give up on,” Sarah’s family said.
“Imagine if one day you go to hospital in unbearable pain, lose consciousness and after a few weeks you wake up connected to respiratory equipment and other machines swollen and purple.
“And as days go by, you realise that your body will never be the same again. The infection has left its mark on you. To be able to lead a normal and active life, you will need prosthesis for both arms and legs,” her family added.
Sarah’s family said they were extremely grateful to the staff at Marbella’s Costa del Sol Hospital. Everything is expected to go well for her because of the love and support she enjoys from her family and friends, they added.
A bank account had now been set up for donations to help Sarah recover. The fundraising effort is called Somos Tu Ola (We Are Your Wave) after her love for surfing.
Those wishing to make a donation can do so by depositing money in bank account number: ES50 2103 7300 3002 4341, swift code: UCJAESM2.
Sarah’s family have asked for those making donations to put their name and Sarahconpalante in the reference box.