Mother of brain damaged girl threatens to take doctors to High Court

Single mother of four-year-old girl who suffered serious brain damage after catching the flu is fighting to keep her alive after hospital launched legal bid to switch off her life support

  • EXCLUSIVE: Pippa Knight been on life support at London hospital since Jan 2019
  • Little Pippa, from Medway, Kent got Flu A and it resulted in serious brain damage
  • Single mother Paula, 40, has instructed lawyers to take doctors to High Court 

A single mother is fighting to keep her four-year-old daughter alive after doctors claimed she is too brain damaged to remain on life support.

Little Pippa Knight, of Medway, Kent, has been on a ventilator at the Evelina Hospital in London since Flu A left her brain damaged in January last year.

The four-year-old suffered a similar episode at 20-months-old, but made a full recovery.

Doctors at Guys’ at St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust claim there has been ‘little to no improvement’ in Pippa’s prognosis and they have asked lawyers to apply for a High Court order to be allowed to take her off life support. 

But her mother Paula Parfitt, 40, claims she is awake and has tried to sit up in bed and reach out to her for a hug.   

With medics threatening legal action, the single mother of Pippa and her older brother faces a court battle. 


Little Pippa Knight, of Medway, Kent, has been on life support at the Evelina Hospital in London since Flu A left her brain damaged in January last year

Her mother Paula Parfitt, 40, (pictured with her) claims she is awake and has tried to sit up in bed and reach out to her for a hug

Ms Parfitt claims her daughter recovered from a very similar condition just before her second birthday and should be given the chance to do the same again.

She says she is awake, has sleep cycles and responds to her voice and music played in the ward. 

Pippa’s father Karl Knight died in 2017 and her mother is desperate not to lose another loved one.

She told MailOnline: ‘She is my little girl. She is Karl’s legacy. I think the world or her and will do what ever it takes to protect her and my son.’

Currently Ms Parfitt is unable to work and spends all of her time at her daughter’s bedside in London. 

Doctors at Guys’ at St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Foundation Trust claim there has been ‘little to no improvement’ in Pippa’s prognosis and they have asked lawyers to apply for a High Court order to be allowed to take her off life support

She argues that Pippa is not in a coma and although she can’t speak, she is highly responsive to what goes on around her.

She added: ‘She moves her arms, she moves her legs some days she rolls on her side, she moves her fingers, she grips my hand.

‘She tries to sit up with support and she reaches out for a cuddle.’ 

Ms Parfitt has also been given hope by the miraculous outcome of the case surrounding five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb. 

Tafida, of Newham, east London, was sent into a coma around the same time as Pippa was struck down by flu in January last year. 

The schoolgirl suffered a burst blood vessel in her brain and doctors at the Royal London Hospital said she was beyond hope.

But after a lengthy legal battle that ended in the High Court, her parents Shelina Begum and Mohammed Raqeeb convinced a judge to let her go to Genoa, Italy for further treatment.

Italian doctors last month said she has made enough progress to return to the UK.     

MailOnline has contacted Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for comment on Pippa Parfitt’s case. 

Pictured: Pippa Knight, four, of Medway, Kent 

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