LIFE for a brave teenager living with a rare terminal illness has been made a lot more comfortable after getting her own home hydrotherapy pool.
Hartlepool 15-year-old Ellie Mae Morgan has the brain condition Juvenile Huntington’s Disease, which affects only around 100 young people in the UK.
There is no cure and Ellie Mae has tragically been given a life expectancy of just five to 10 years.
The inherited condition damages nerve cells in the brain leading to a gradual loss of function of speech and movement.
But Ellie Mae’s new pool, bought with help from kind-hearted supporters who have raised over £1,000, will make a massive difference to her quality of life, say her loving family.
Ellie Mae, who attends High Tunstall College of Science, in Hartlepool, suffers from constant muscle spasms which leave her “stiff as a board” and hydrotherapy treatment provides the only relief.
Before getting the pool, Ellie Mae could only have the hydroptehrapy treatment at school swimming pools a few times a week.
Delighted mum Sam Morgan, 46, said: “Ellie Mae hasn’t had any hydrotherapy for several weeks because the schools have been closed.
“It is going to make a massive difference to her life.
“Hydrotherapy is the only form of treatment that can ease the symptoms.
“There is no cure or medicine that can make her better. The warm water and currents of the pool will relax all of Ellie Mae’s muscles.
“Her muscles are working all the time, it is like a 24-hour aerobics workout and she has to have twice as many calories as everyone else.”
Sam and her partner Richard Carter, 36, of the Elwick Road area, thanked A19 Pools and Spas, in Peterlee, for their help in providing the pool.
Fundraising towards the cost of the pool and for a cover and outdoor heaters will continue.
The next event will be a fun day at West Hartlepool Rugby Club, Catcote Road, on Saturday, September 21.
It is being organised by well wisher Sophie Mckay, of Rift House, and will include bouncy castles, children’s rides stalls and children’s costumed characters.
Sam added: “I’m just blown away by people’s kindness.”
Ellie May inherited the rogue gene from her biological dad and grandfather who have also got the disease but it did not affect them until much later in life.
Her brother, Harry, 17, and Olivia, 13, also have a 50-50 chance of the disease developing in them at any time.
Ellie has sadly rapidly deteriorated since she was diagnosed by Newcastle’s Centre for Life in March last year and is dependant on her family and carers.