A TEENAGER is facing “internal decapitation” due to a rare brain condition – and could die at any moment.
Allesha Barnfield, 17, has just months to try and save her life in a race to get thousands of pounds for treatment after being diagnosed with a “walking death sentence.”
She was diagnosed with multiple conditions including chiari malformation after first developing symptoms back in 2019.
It can eventually lead to paralysis, or “internal decapitation” when these spinal ligaments rupture – in this instance of whom 70 per cent instantly die.
The condition causes ligaments in the spine to tense up and tighten and pull the brain tissue of its victims into their spinal cord.
The teenager from Doncaster, Yorkshire, has had to quit school and her job because of the severe symptoms she experiences daily, which include which headaches, back pain, dizziness, fatigue, memory loss, breathing problems, sensitivity to light and loss of movement.
And now Allesha is in a race against time with just months to save money to fund vital surgery.
The surgery she needs, which is not on the NHS, costs thousands of pounds, which she does not have.
And she has until May to find the funds, before the price she has been quoted expires and the price goes up once again.
Ms Barnfield said: “Before this, it was my absolute dream to study law in university, but now, its to just be alive.”
She continued that she is putting “everything into fighting for this surgery” because “without it I cant continue to live, it is no way of living”.
She explained: “My skull is really misshapen and abnormally small, which makes it really difficult for my brain, and it pushes pressure downwards onto my skull, which causes a lot of symptoms.”
Ms Barnfield says that it felt like a “walking death sentence” when she was told, but that she has been given a new sense of hope after learning she could be helped by a specialist abroad.
Now, she is desperate to raise the 19,000 upfront cost of surgery, as well as money to pay for accommodation while she recovers in Barcelona, where the institute is based.
The NHS can provide her with a kind of relief for the condition, but this is not a permanent cure for the disease, meaning her symptoms would likely come back.
Writing on her GoFundMe page, the teenager said she “cannot fight as hard” as she has to be unable to have the surgery because of financial reasons.
She added: “Ive created this in hopes that just maybe I could be lucky enough to have enough money to pay for this surgery.”
Ms Barnfield is hopeful she can find the money before May, which is when the price she was quoted expires and after which the cost may rise further.
The teenager continued that it would mean “the absolute world” to have the surgery, to not be “waking up every day knowing Im worse and worse, but to wake up knowing that Im free”.