Home General News Bianca Ackhurst (22) needs your help

Bianca Ackhurst (22) needs your help


Brackenhurst resident, 22 year old Bianca Ackhurst was admitted to Netcare Clinton Hospital Intensive Care Unit in Alberton after experiencing flu-like symptoms and “Tingling” in her fingers and toes on the 3rd of July and she needs your help…

In a few short days, Bianca Ackhurst went from the bubbly and energetic personality her family and friends know and love, to being completely paralyzed, relying on a ventilator to breathe.

Bianca Ackhurst
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After close examination by Dr Adri  Kock, Bianca Ackhurst was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an extremely rare and serious autoimmune disorder which attacks healthy nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare disease…

The incurable syndrome affects 1 in 100,000 individuals, while there is no known cure, doctors say the severity of the symptoms can be reduced through extensive physiotherapy and special treatment called Polygam and plasma. The CDC suggests that the disorder may be triggered by an improper immune response to  previous illnesses such as diarrhea or a respiratory infection.

Without medical aid, Bianca’s hospitalisation has already amounted close to R300,000. She has since been transferred to the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, a government institution, where she remains in ICU on a ventilator. Once released from ICU she will be transferred to their neurological department and then begin extensive physical rehabilitation.

“We as a family are absolutely shocked and devastated at the speed at which and the way this illness has affected our daughter, it breaks our hearts to see her laying unable to move or talk when just 2 weeks ago she was perfectly healthy” says Bianca’s father, Jeff Ackhurst.

To help cover outstanding medical costs and ongoing treatment (costs of which are unknown at this point), the family has created a campaign on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy to appeal to the public to support Bianca’s recovery. Bianca’s family remains positive as Bianca shows signs of progress.

Here’s an update on Bianca’s condition

On the 16 August 2018, Bianca was transferred to the South Rand Rehabilitation Centre in The Hill. “Bianca’s condition is improving daily and she is at the point where she can sit with little to no assistance and can stand unassisted for about 3 seconds at a time. She remains positive despite dealing with this soul destroying illness ” says Bianca’s father, Jeffrey Ackhurst

Bianca currently does about 3 hours of physical, speech and occupational therapy a day. While she is making progress, doctors suggest her recovery could take up to 6 months.

“When I took my first step with my walker, I reminded myself, that you have to keep fighting when you get knocked down. I am determined to get better and get my life back” – says Bianca Ackhurst

Bianca Ackhurst
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Bianca’s treatment has been made possible through generous contributions to her campaign on donations based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy. The campaign went live on the 6th of July, shortly after Bianca’s diagnosis and has thus far raised over R108,065.41 with contributions from 165 donors.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to Bianca’s BackaBuddy fund and for the kindness and compassion we received as a family. Your thoughts and prayers have been a pillar of strength for us during a very difficult time” says Jeffrey. Bianca’s ongoing medical treatment is estimated to cost a further R200,000.

Want to help Bianca Ackhurst? Donate to her campaign on Backabuddy HERE.

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