Patient Stories


Initial visits to Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) resulted in an inconclusive diagnosis. Another doctor thought it was a stomach bug. But as Ariana’s condition worsened, her parents persisted, seeking a second opinion. Eventually, she was admitted to the Rainbow Ward at GHA, where a dedicated team of healthcare professionals worked tirelessly to uncover the cause of her symptoms.

Weeks passed as Ariana underwent various tests, enduring unbearable pain. She found brief relief only in fleeting moments. Eventually, Spanish and UK medical teams confirmed her diagnosis: Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). This was the first recorded case of GBS in a child in Gibraltar, making collaboration between the two medical teams crucial for accurate diagnosis.

At Vithas Malaga, Ariana received treatments and therapies to address muscle weakness and nerve damage. Along with Morphine, she was prescribed Gabapentin for neuropathic pain relief. This regimen aimed to alleviate her excruciating symptoms and provide temporary respite.

During her difficult journey, Ariana found solace in music. One day, her parents played her favorite song in the hospital room, and she experienced a momentary escape from her pain. In that moment, she was just a four-year-old girl, humming along.

Despite the lack of visible improvements in her muscles and nerves, Alicia and Jonathan remained committed to Ariana’s recovery. They supported each other and established a routine at GHA, taking turns caring for Ariana round the clock. Alicia worked from the hospital, while Jonathan worked during the day and cared for Ariana at night, ensuring she always had support.

They also made sure not to neglect their other children, understanding the impact Ariana’s illness could have on the entire family. They provided reassurance, love, and support, striving to maintain a sense of normalcy for everyone.

Ariana’s story is one of hope and resilience. Her journey embodies the power of love, support, and unwavering determination. Despite the challenges, Alicia and Jonathan’s teamwork and positive attitude continue to play a crucial role in Ariana’s recovery. Their aim is to raise awareness about Guillain-Barré Syndrome and provide support to others facing a similar journey.

In conclusion, Ariana’s journey exemplifies the resilience and strength within us all. It reminds us that even in the face of unimaginable challenges, hope, love, and unwavering support can guide us towards a brighter future.