Little Layla Thomas, 2, struggles between life and death after doctors diagnosed her with a rare brain infection known as necrotic encephalitis, a serious complication of the flu. At the moment, the child is in a pharmacological coma and is undergoing blood transfusions and fluid and antibiotic intake: “She is a fighter, she will make it”.

Layla ThomasWhen she was diagnosed with the flu, no one could ever have imagined that she would have gotten worse and that a rare brain infection known asĀ  necrotic encephalitis would develop. Fighting between life and death, Layla Thomas , 2 years old from Belleville, Illinois, United States, whose story is travelling around the world after her desperate parents launched a fundraiser online to be able to pay the expenses of the care needed to save her. At the moment, doctors have said that she has a 50 percent chance of surviving after having induced her into a pharmacological coma for about 10 days and having made numerous blood transfusions.

The ordeal of Layla and her parents began about 2 weeks ago. “She had a runny nose and a little cough, in short, some flu symptoms, but we didn’t think of anything serious,” little Jessica Kile’s aunt told a local TV station.

Then, on March 18th, she had a very high fever and was admitted to the hospital, first in her hometown and then at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, in Missouri. It was at this point that her condition deteriorated suddenly.

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“At the moment she doesn’t respond much to stimuli, she can only make small eye movements,” Jessica pointed out. Layla has what doctors have called necrotic encephalitis, an incredibly rare disease, just think that we are talking about only 59 recorded cases. One third of patients do not survive. This is generally a complication of influenza, which causes an inflammation of the brain, the tissues of which tend to give way when it is very serious.

Those who contract this disease begin with similar flu symptoms, then develop convulsions, hallucinations and difficulty in coordinating movements. Without proper treatment, many go into a coma. Layla was put into a pharmacological coma before she arrived at this stage and now the doctors are giving her fluids, antibiotics and blood transfusions. “Only time will tell us if our child will overcome this ordeal. But she is a fighter and we are sure she will make it”.