11:13 AM April 5, 2022
A five-year-old girl who suffers from a rare illness that causes breathing difficulties is on the mend after battling Covid.
Elsie Gooderson's family saw their worst fear came true in March when she tested positive for coronavirus - after two years of shielding to protect her.
The Fakenham youngster has Kagami Ogata Syndrome (UPD14 Paternal), meaning she has to use ventilators to help her breathe.
But last month, Elsie contracted the virus following a trip to the hospital.
Rebecca Gooderson, Elsie's mum, said: "We were distraught; I was devastated.
“It was the worse kind of fear and guilt. Even though we did all we could, she still managed to catch it.
“It was horrible wondering what it would mean and how would she manage. It was an awful moment.
“As a mum, I felt that it was my job to keep her in a safe little bubble and protect her.”
Elsie found herself bedbound and completely exhausted with a fever.
She would spend the entirety of most days lying in bed, her mum added.
The family also had to up Elsie's oxygen levels, from 0.5 litres to two litres, as her ventilator held her lungs open while her heart rate soared to 200 beats per minute.
“It was a struggle watching her in this state," added Miss Gooderson, 28.
"Thankfully her oxygen meant it was bearable to be at home. We had the hospital on the phone who had a bed ready to go."
Thankfully, a week later, Elsie's fever subsided and she is gradually getting better.
Now her family are simply grateful she caught the virus now rather than at the start of the pandemic, when knowledge of the illness was limited and the strain was more harmful.
“I think, in a way, it has made us feel a bit more confident to see friends and family again safely,” said Miss Gooderson.
“We get a bit of our life back, but we realise the virus is still out there and it has really taken its toll on Elsie. It's important we don't push our luck with it.
"We're so incredibly proud she got through it, and grateful for all the kind messages of support that flooded in. It always means a lot to us."
As of Monday, April 4, five to 11-year-olds became eligible to receive vaccinations.