SMILING schoolgirl Erin Wood has made a ‘miracle’ recovery after suffering a rare childhood stroke - at the age of just two.
It is believed the tot suffered the terrifying condition as a complication of simple chicken pox.
And doctors at Sheffield Children’s Hospital have been amazed by the determined youngster’s battle back to full health.
Mum Gill, who now wants to raise awareness of childhood stroke and the chicken pox link, said: “Her recovery has just been unbelievable.
“Doctors have said they’ve never seen anything like it.
“One doctor told us that if he didn’t know she had already had a stroke he wouldn’t be able to tell.
“Most children are left with neurological damage after a stroke, but Erin has nothing - it’s a miracle.”
Weeks after Erin suffered chickenpox she began holding her right arm and complaining of a headache.
Worried parents Gill and Rob, both 39, from Woodseats, rushed her to a GP when she couldn’t put any weight on her right leg.
Gill said: “He shone a light in her eyes and said we needed to take Erin to the hospital for a neurological assessment - I knew something was really wrong.
“I thought it might be a brain tumour.
“Erin lost all feeling in her right arm and leg, her mouth started drooping, she was drooling and she couldn’t say how many fingers a doctor was holding up. It was like she was drunk.
“It was just like being in a nightmare, but I can’t praise the hospital enough. The staff were so kind to us - they made it easier to bear.”
Scans showed Erin had had a stroke.
She was in hospital for days until feeling in her leg and arm started to return - defying fears she may not get back the use of her hand.
Despite suffering with vision, balance and fatigue problems for several months Erin, now aged five, has made a total recovery.
The Stroke Association says research shows the virus that causes chickenpox can be a risk factor for stroke in children, as it makes blood vessels in the head narrow. Just 400 children suffer strokes a year.
Gill, who is running the Sheffield 10k for The Children’s Hospital Charity in September, added: “We never thought it was a stroke with her being so young. You can’t believe it.
“Erin was tired for about a year afterwards, but she’s such a determined little thing, she wouldn’t let that beat her.
“People are so blasé about chickenpox - and what happened to Erin might be rare, but it doesn’t feel that way when it happens.”
To sponsor Gill on her 10K run visit www.justgiving.com/gillanderin