An adorable 5-year-old girl developed vitiligo, a condition characterized by patches of the skin losing its pigment, as a consequence of meningitis and the stress that ensued during treatment.
Aria Ellison’s doctors believe her vitiligo was brought on by stress after her battle with bacterial meningitis, which she beat as a 16-month-old. At the time, her mother Alicia was very concerned because meningitis attacks the brain and Aria has cerebral palsy.
Aria survived the deadly disease after undergoing a mastoidectomy, a procedure to scrape out diseased cells, which left Aria partially deaf in her right ear.
After being discharged from a hospital in Miami, her mother noticed white patches developing on Aria's dark skin.
"They said it was initiated by the stress on her body from the meningitis and from all the tests they had been doing,” the 34-year-old mother of two told news service SWNS.
"Soon after that it started to appear everywhere - on her back, chest and face," she added. "When I look back at photos from last year the difference is huge, but the most important thing is that Aria is healthy and striving."
"She lights up every room and so long as she is smiling and giggling, I'm happy."
At age 2, Aria was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder which permanently affects body movement. The little girl uses a wheelchair, is unable to talk and has the mental age of a 1-year-old.
Doctors recommended Aria undergo light therapy for the vitiligo to restore some pigment to her skin, but Alicia decided against it and instead chose to have her daughter do music therapy.
"With the meningitis it was life or death for a moment, but Aria beat the odds," said Alicia, who runs the Instagram page Arias Planet for her daughter.