February 17, 2022 1.51 pm

Recovered and climbing three peaks: Teen paralysed by condition which killed granny Ryalla Duffy

He will be hiking three mountains in 36 hours, just months after being paralysed

A 19-year-old man who was fully paralysed by a rare condition, and recovered in just two months, is raising money after the disease took the life of his well-known and much-loved grandmother.

Levi-George Holland, 19, had a truly turbulent 2021, losing two family members and falling seriously ill himself before making a miraculous recovery.

The family’s story started back in February, when Ryalla Duffy, 61, a well-loved member of the traveller community, suddenly fell ill and developed a serious, rare condition called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which sees a person’s own immune system damage the nerves.

Ryalla Duffy. | Photo: Mike Barrett Productions

Due to complications, Ryalla died on March 10, sending shockwaves through the community, but it wasn’t to be the only Duffy family heartbreak in 2021.

Just under four months after Ryalla’s passing, her son Absolom, 21, died in a car crash on July 8, and the pair had a joint funeral at Lincoln Cathedral in August.

The family and friends of Ryalla and Absolom turned out in numbers. | Photo: John Aron for The Lincolnite

Following this tragedy, Ryalla’s grandson Levi-George, better known as LG by his family and friends, fell suddenly ill with GBS like his grandmother.

After being admitted to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham, it was discovered how severe the illness was.

LG became fully paralysed, staying at QMC for weeks on end before moving closer to Lincolnshire for intense physiotherapy in a bid to regain movement.

Levi-George fell seriously ill soon after the funeral for his uncle and grandma, but made a full recovery in less than two months. | Photo: Family

With sheer determination and the love and prayers of his family on his side, LG defied the odds and was back walking just two months later. It was a prospect that could not have seemed possible at the time, but now he wants to go one step further.

Inspired by the difficulty he saw his grandmother go through, LG, along with 15 other people, will be doing a three peaks challenge, walking Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike in just 36 hours to raise money for GAIN, a charity which supports and helps people affected by Guillain-Barre syndrome or other inflammatory neuropathies.

The challenge takes place between June 17 and June 19.

Ryalla and Absolom had floral tributes outside the cathedral. | Photo: John Aron for The Lincolnite

A fundraiser has been set up to help gather money on behalf of the charity, and it has reached almost £850 at the time of reporting. You can visit the JustGiving page here.

LG will be tackling this huge feat in loving memory of his granny, inspired by the support he was given during his darkest days in hospital.

A young LG with his grandmother Ryalla. | Photo: Family

His family have said they are “very proud” of the determination Levi-George is showing to overcome adversity not long after a potentially life-changing illness diagnosis.

Verity Duffy, LG’s mother, said: “His recovery has been amazing and within two months, after a short stay at Lincoln County physio ward, he was up and walking. His determination will see him complete this challenge along with 15 other members of the family and some friends.

“GAIN receives no government or lottery funding but they do so much to help survivors of this terrible illness.

“Our community, along with others, thought it would be good to give something back to the community after the terrible year as a family we had last year.

“It has given us something positive to focus on this year and donations would be kindly received. For those that have already donated, many thanks.”

His rapid recovery is inspirational.