The life of Ella Roberta: a funny, busy, clever, curious, sporty and musical child
Ella Roberta was the eldest of 3 children. She was born at Lewisham Hospital in 2004 and was healthy at birth. She lived in Hither Green throughout her life with her mum and siblings. Ella was a very active child and this continued despite her illness. At 4 she joined a gymnastics club and for the next two years won gold, silver and bronze medals at competitions. Ella then went onto have 1 to 1 swimming lessons which she loved. She was a good swimmer and reached Level 7. She was looking forward to going on to compete at short distances (50 metres and maybe 100 metres) in the future. Ella loved outside sports this included cycling, scootering, skateboarding and roller skating. She was a promising dancer and attended Jigsaw Performing Arts for 6 years. Ella’s other past times were football, she supported Manchester United and started playing football at Little Kickers by age of 2. Millwall Football Club were looking forward to having Ella play for the club, her coaches were astonished at her speed on the pitch and the ball despite her chronic condition. Ella’s other love was music, she had a sizeable CD collection and was a gifted musician. She played drums, cornet, piano, guitar and loved singing and making up songs. During her illness Ella read a lot of fantasy novels and used art, writing in her diaries whilst listening to music to express her feelings about her illness.
Ella’s severe and complex asthma
Three months before her 7th birthday Ella began to develop what was later confirmed at her inquest, severe and rare life threatening asthma. The pathologist who carried out her post mortem said it was “one of the worst cases of asthma ever recorded in the UK” The first signs she was developing breathing difficulties was a chest infection that started just before October half term in 2010. Ella’s asthma was very complex, she had continous mucus pluggins and the mucus was thick like white glue a bronchoscophy revealed. She was unable to clear it from her lungs despite physical therapy . The mucus continually made her lungs collapse and yet noone knew where the excess mucus was coming from. Ella also had coughing syncope (there is no known case in a child) and she had reflex anoxic seizures which was brought on by hypoxia. There was no pattern to Ella’s asthma attacks, some of her triggers for example hay fever were known but there were others that were Airborne which continue to be unknown even after her death.
Ella had her first hypoxic seizure during a severe attack and stopped breathing, she ended up In ICU in December 2010. After the first episode the attacks continued and Ella was frequently rushed to Lewisham Hospital; she was admitted to ICU a further four times.
Ella would love to be remembered for her love of God, family, friends, Chess, Connect 4 (no one ever beat her), football, music, dancing and her sense of humour. Her dream was to become a pilot and she hoped she would eventually outgrow her asthma. Her fall back plan was to be a writer of course.
We miss her everyday.
Sophia, Robert and Rosamund