This online memorial was created in loving memory of Leigha Manuel, whose life was cut short by an extremely rare disease called Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis or HLH. We believe that she had the secondary version but still to this day we have no definite answers.
Leigha became ill at the beginning of July of 2007 and struggled thru many weeks of fever, biopsies, blood tests, MRIs, CTs, & a chest tube before she was diagnosed with HLH on July 27th. HLH-2004 protocol is the treatment process for this disease with Chemotherapy and many, many pills. The first time she came home from the hospital she was taking 30 pills a day. She never came home from the second.This horrifying disease came back and took her mental status and shut down her organs. I can not begin to describe the truly heart wrenching sight that this disease turned her into in such a short time.
Leigha spent most of her illness in Knoxvilles Childrens Hospital and in Nashvilles Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital. She spent from July 5 thru August 10 in the hospital and then spent 3-4 days a week traveling to Knoxville for treatment before she was readmitted in November. She got to have her first plane ride when Lifefight transferred her on a private jet from Knoxville to Nashville on November 23rd, she died 5 days later.
Her spirit was an inspiration to almost anyone she came in contact with. This 11 year old child had more maturity and understanding then a grown adult. She smiled endlessly and never once complained throughout her illness. She had her own song written for her by the Songs of Love Foundation and was put on the RCS School webpage and the Dare webpage for many weeks. She was a Girl Scout and loved to dance and sing when she could. Playing volleyball, swimming and jet skiing with her stepbrother was some of her favorite things to do. She asked for a trip to Disneyland on a cruise ship from the Make a Wish foundation. She never got to go. She was on the cover of the Histiocytosis Dear Friends Campaign brochure 2007 and will be featured in the Leukemia Foundation "Hair-A-Wear" advertising.
No more needles baby.... (Leigha had over 92 needle pokes aside from her PICC line usage during her 6 month illness) Leigha only asked for one thing while she was sick and that was, she wanted to go home. She was tired of being sick.
Jesus took you home honey, and now you are all better. I can say this because she was Saved and believed in Heaven and she knew she was going. She was my angel and she will be forever in my heart and on my mind.
I pray for a cure.
I encourage you to visit www.histio.org
Knowledge is our only defense!
Please sign Leigha 's guest book and let us know you came to visit. We will remember Leigha forever.