A MOTHER says she was left “heartbroken” after her determined young son suffered a prolonged seizure which changed his life forever.

Stephanie Cannon, 26, gave birth to baby Alfie at Colchester Hospital on March 21, 2014.

Now seven years old, Stephanie’s inspiring son enjoys the company of his little brother Elliot, four, step-dad Alan Oakley, 34, and step-brother Oscar, ten.

But despite bringing joy to his family on a daily basis, Alfie no longer lives an ordinary life and every waking hour is a battle.

Just over two years after being born, he suffered a devastating seizure which lasted for more than two hours.


After falling ill, in October 2016, Alfie gradually started to lose any abilities he had developed as a baby and through infancy.

He now has to completely rely on other people in order to do many things people take for granted, such as being able to walk, talk or sit unaided.

“When it happened I was heartbroken,” said Stephanie, who is also affectionately known as Stevie.

“I had to watch my innocent little boy be rushed to intensive care and have our world turned upside down.

“He is now completely reliant on other people.”

Now, nearly five years later, Alfie’s condition has still not been officially diagnosed, although doctors believe it could be an illness called leukodystrophy.

The condition is a group of disorders characterised by degeneration of the white matter in the brain, which can cause problems with movement and balance.

Over time the illness’s symptoms can become worse and take their toll, but action can be taken to slow down deterioration and improve his abilities.

Alfie attends private physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions, which cost an eye-watering £4,000 per grouping, and uses special equipment.

“His private therapies make an enormous difference to Alfie’s life,” added Stephanie, who lives in Frinton and sends Alfie to the “amazing” Shorefields School in Clacton.

“We hope to maybe get him being able to crawl and sit without always needing assistance.”


Although his continued treatments are expensive, Alfie’s recovery has been given what could be a significant financial boost thanks to a filmmaker.

Anthony Longhurst, of Thorpe-le-Soken, is the main man behind comedy gangster film Lucas and Albert.

The movie, set against the backdrop of Tendring, follows two ageing hitmen who are forced into doing one final job.

It originally premiered at a red-carpet event at Clacton’s Century Cinema in September 2019, but its release and subsequent promotion was disrupted following the outbreak of coronavirus.

Mr Longhurst has now revealed a special relaunch screening is due to take place on June 17 at the Princes Theatre, which will be held in aid of Alfie and his ongoing battle.

He said: “We really hope people can come along and not only support us, but the plight of a young lad who needs help.”

On the evening of the screening, guests will be encouraged to text a donation to a special hotline, but regardless of how much money is raised, Stephanie will continue to fight for her son.

She added: “I am so incredibly proud of Alfie - he is my hero and inspiration and I could burst with how proud he makes all of us.

“His smile melts my heart, seeing him happy just shows me how determined he really is.”

To support Alfie, visit facebook.com/alfiegeorge2014.