Ash is a 12 year old girl who suffers from a rare condition called Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS)
What this means is that there is a ligament under her diaphragm, compressing a blood vessel that feeds blood to the stomach, pancreas and digestive system.
The severe pain associated with MALS comes from the nerve bundle around this blood vessel that is being constantly squished by the ligament. People with MALS experience constant abdominal pain, which becomes excruciating every time they eat or drink. The severity of this pain has been likened to that of end stage pancreatic cancer.
In March this year Ashleigh's older brother Brayden, who also suffers from MALS, had successful surgery in America with a surgeon who has a 92% success rate of curing this condition.
Sadly, due to how rare MALS is, doctors were reluctant to run the necessary tests to confirm Ashleigh's diagnosis in time for us to take her with us at the same time as her brother. Despite her showing all the same early symptoms we were told its too rare and that "lightning doesn't strike twice" But unfortunately for our family it does and we now need to find the money all over again to get Ashleigh the same surgery in America.