A UK toddler’s life was saved by the kindness of strangers amid a national medicine shortage said to be caused by the Ukraine war.
Fearing for her 3-year-old daughter, Chloe Cox turned to Facebook for donations after realizing that the daily supplement the epileptic child relies on was out of stock, according to Kennedy News.
And she was “overwhelmed” as people across the UK rallied around the child and sent her the needed medicine.
“Thankfully we managed to get together two months’ worth of sachets. It was a big relief,” the 22-year-old mom told Kennedy News.
Little Tia Holt had suffered “hundreds” of seizures a day until she was switched to a ketogenic diet, which Cox claims has kept the youngster seizure-free for eight months.
As part of her strict diet, the toddler living in Great Harwood, Lancashire, depends on four daily doses of Dioralyte, a rehydration supplement.
But as the conflict in Ukraine rages on, the essential supplement and other necessary medicines have become increasingly difficult to find.
Cox was warned that her local pharmacy was out of Dioralyte and asked her doctor to send the prescription out to several other pharmacies nearby. After learning that the other pharmacies were also out of stock, Cox took it upon herself to search for the product.
The young mother called “hundreds” of pharmacies attempting to purchase the supplement for her daughter and even had her daughter’s dietician contacting local hospitals, according to Kennedy News.
Sanofi, the pharmaceutical company that produces Dioralyte, blamed the war in Ukraine and the macro-economic situation for causing the shortages and has promised to resolve the “patchy availability.”
“The formula she has is made up of different powders weighed to the exact gram and the Dioralyte is one of them,” Cox explained to Kennedy News. “If that’s not in the formula, she won’t be getting the correct ratio of fat to carbs. It can cause a seizure if it’s not measured correctly.”
Cox realized that she only had a few days’ supply of Dioralyte left, which meant she would not be able to properly feed her daughter after Sept. 2.
“If we’d gotten past that point, we wouldn’t have had any food for her,” she said. “I was so worried. This diet was what was stopping the seizures and I didn’t want to go back to her having the seizures.
“You can’t just give Tia anything. You have to make sure everything is keto friendly.”
On Aug. 27, three weeks after the initial prescription was put in, Holt’s Facebook appeal lead to about 250 sachets being donated to the family.
“Fingers crossed, pharmacies will be able to get Dioralyte soon,” Cox said.
According to Kennedy News, Tia was diagnosed with infantile spasms in January 2020. She was then diagnosed with severe complex epilepsy a year later.
The young girl was experiencing hundreds of seizures a day as her mother constantly worried her baby would die from a severe episode.
“It was a worrying and anxious time for me, you don’t know what’s going to happen, seizures can cause brain damage,” Cox recounted.
Cox worked with doctors to stop her daughter’s seizures, but medications only provided a 2% to 4% chance of working. After trying a plethora of medications, they eventually found a solution with the ketogenic diet.
Tia hasn’t had a noted seizure since Dec. 17 — thanks to the diet and Dioralyte.
“The fact that so many people reached out to help made me feel overwhelmed in a good way,” Cox shared. “It gives me a lot of hope. The fact that this whole situation came out of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin doing something evil and is being resolved by other people’s kindness is really touching to me.”
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