Abigail Mallon was a cheerful and energetic 8-year-old girl who loved to play with her friends and family. She had a bright future ahead of her, until she was diagnosed with a rare and mysterious disease that changed her life forever. What was the cause of death of Abigail Mallon, and what is the disease that took her away?
Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC)
Abigail Mallon suffered from a condition called Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (AHC), a neurological disorder that affects one in a million children. AHC causes episodes of paralysis that can affect one or both sides of the body, as well as other symptoms such as seizures, muscle spasms, eye movements, and cognitive impairment. The episodes can last from minutes to days, and can be triggered by various factors such as stress, fatigue, temperature changes, or infections.
According to the [Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Foundation], AHC is caused by mutations in a gene called ATP1A3, which is responsible for regulating the levels of sodium and potassium in the brain cells. However, the exact mechanism of how these mutations lead to the symptoms of AHC is still unknown, and there is no cure or specific treatment for the disease.
Abigail Mallon was born in Abbey Wood, London, in 2015. She was a healthy and happy baby, until she had her first episode of paralysis at the age of six months. Her parents, Sarah and Paul Mallon, were terrified and confused, as they did not know what was wrong with their daughter. They took her to several doctors and hospitals, but none of them could give them a diagnosis or a solution.
It took two years for Abigail to be diagnosed with AHC, after a genetic test confirmed the mutation in her ATP1A3 gene. By then, she had already experienced hundreds of episodes of paralysis, some of which left her unable to speak, walk, or eat. She also developed epilepsy, which caused her to have frequent and severe seizures.
Sarah Mallon described her daughter’s condition as “like a stroke victim when she has an attack”. She said that Abigail would lose all her abilities and skills, and would have to relearn them every time she recovered from an episode. She also said that Abigail was in constant pain and discomfort, and that she had to take several medications to manage her symptoms.
Despite her challenges, Abigail was a brave and resilient girl who never gave up. She attended a special school, where she received support and therapy. She enjoyed playing with her toys, watching cartoons, and listening to music. She also loved spending time with her family, especially her older brother, Liam, who was very protective and caring of her.
On February 6, 2024, Abigail Mallon passed away peacefully in her sleep, surrounded by her family. She was 8 years old. Her parents said that she had a severe episode of paralysis the night before, and that they tried to revive her in the morning, but it was too late. They said that they were heartbroken and devastated by the loss of their daughter, but that they were also relieved that she was no longer suffering.
Sarah Mallon said that Abigail was “the most amazing little girl” who “fought so hard every day”. She said that Abigail taught them “how to be strong, how to love, and how to live”. She also said that Abigail was “an inspiration to everyone who met her”, and that she hoped that her story would raise awareness and funds for AHC research.
Paul Mallon said that Abigail was “a beautiful angel” who “brought so much joy and happiness to our lives”. He said that Abigail was “a fighter” who “never let AHC stop her from smiling”. He also said that Abigail was “a hero” who “made a difference in the world”, and that he was proud to be her father.
AHC Awareness and Research
Abigail Mallon’s death was a tragic reminder of the need for more awareness and research on AHC, a disease that affects many children and families around the world. According to the [Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood Foundation], there are currently about 1,000 known cases of AHC worldwide, but the actual number may be much higher, as many cases may be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed.
The foundation’s mission is to find a cure for AHC, and to improve the quality of life of those affected by the disease. The foundation supports various research projects, such as the [International AHC Consortium], which is a network of researchers and clinicians who collaborate to study the genetics, mechanisms, and treatments of AHC. The foundation also provides information, education, and advocacy for the AHC community, as well as financial assistance and emotional support for the families.
The foundation organizes an annual event called [AHC Day], which is held on the 18th of January, to raise awareness and funds for AHC. The event encourages people to wear purple, the color of AHC, and to share their stories and experiences with AHC on social media, using the hashtag #AHCDay. The event also features various activities, such as webinars, auctions, and fundraisers, to engage and educate the public about AHC.
The foundation hopes that by increasing the visibility and understanding of AHC, more people will join the fight against the disease, and more resources will be allocated to finding a cure. The foundation believes that with enough research and collaboration, AHC can be defeated, and that the children and families affected by the disease can have a better and brighter future.