A ROUTINE injection is being blamed for shattering the life of a sports-mad teenager. Pretty, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Stacey Berry had everything going for her.

At 14 the Atherton girl was a popular pupil at Hesketh Fletcher High.

She had a wide circle of friends, played netball, badminton and enjoyed kick-boxing. Now (pictured), two and a half years later, her happy-go-lucky lifestyle seems a million miles away.

Her devoted mum Julie Roberts told The Journal how everything started going tragically wrong.

Julie said:"There was a measles scare in 1995 and Stacey had a measles, mumps and rubella injection.

"Soon after Stacey started having blackouts but, since my younger son suffers from epilepsy, we thought she perhaps had those symptoms too.

"Then Stacey started moving jerkily so we took her to hospital. We were told she had traces of epilepsy but then she started getting worse.

"She became lethargic and forgetful, then she fell downstairs. On October 31 1996 we took her to hospital where they kept her under observation overnight.

"But back home that weekend she started making twitching movements. On November 3 she went back to hospital where she had a CT scan and lumber punctures. They knew then what was wrong with her.

"Since then her condition has just worsened and now she needs constant care. She can't talk or move and has to be fed through a tube.

"Her condition is deteriorating.

"I can't bear to look when teenagers walk past. Stacey was so beautiful, a real headturner and a real help around the home." Mrs Roberts has been in touch with some of the carers of the handful of other sufferers in Britain. She understands Stacey's problems may have arisen from an injection violently arousing the measles virus which had lain dormant since having measles as a baby.

Mrs Roberts says she feels bitter.

Bitter because she and her husband Wayne have been told they cannot have a stair lift installed for Stacey because she might fall out.

Bitter because she says she only discovered by accident the suspected cause of her daughter's illness through a nurse's off-guard comment.

She said:"Wayne has to carry her up and down stairs. Surely the lift could be fitted with a safety harness."

And because of what has happened to Stacey Mrs Roberts says she will not now allow any of her family to have injections.

She praised Stacey's younger sister Rebecca (11), elder brother Jamie (18) and 14 year-old Christian for helping her and Wayne care for Stacey.

And they are indebted to kick-boxing coach Danny Harrison of Leigh for helping ease their plight.

Danny, who coaches Jamie and Rebecca, put Leigh Linx Children's Fundraisers in touch with Stacey's parents and the charity aims to send the family on a summer holiday to Barbados.

A spokesman for Wigan and Bolton Health Authority said it was impossible to comment without full details of Stacey's medical history.

Converted for the new archive on 14 July 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.