Now, one year after she came home in June 2013, Rachel tells their story.
"Shortly after Alyssa was born - a seemingly healthy baby - we were informed that a swab had tested positive for Group B Strep, but that Alyssa seemed fine.
However, within an hour she was rushed to Special Care where she deteriorated rapidly. She went into septic shock, and at 36 hours old we were told that our daughter probably wouldn’t make it.
We prepared for the worst, but Alyssa battled against the disease, and at five days old she opened her eyes. By day eight, she was off the ventilator, and her chances of survival seemed more likely. But an MRI scan showed Alyssa had suffered widespread cerebral damage across all areas suggesting she would be severely impaired.
Despite this and the possibility that Alyssa could have lost both her legs, she has progressed well and grown into a healthy and happy little girl, defying all the odds.
Doctors have said she took a big hit with the infection and some delay in hitting her milestones is to be expected.
However, they say that so far she has exceeded everyone’s expectations in terms of her development and mobility with the sepsis damage. We are so lucky that Alyssa is still alive. I hope her story will give hope to those going through a similar ordeal.
But we also know that Group B Strep can be prevented with a simple test. We want to make sure that others are aware of this so that they can avoid going through the same thing we did."