'She potentially saved my life' - former Claverdon woman chosen for special award that rewards 'Local Legends'

Not only can she now enjoy the glow of winning the award, but Alyssa Douglas and her family can now look forward to a month's worth of free pizza from Leamington-based We Love Pizza!
Alyssa Douglas (left) her wife Emma.Alyssa Douglas (left) her wife Emma.
Alyssa Douglas (left) her wife Emma.

A woman who is credited for potentially saving her partner’s life has been chosen for a special award.

A Leamington restaurateur’s search to find Local Legends is set to reward Alyssa Douglas who was nominated by her wife Emma following the launch of the campaign last month.

It was while recovering from Covid-19 last year that the former Claverdon couple decided to help with NHS research, by donating coronavirus antibodies through their plasma. But this led to some devastating news.

Alyssa Douglas.Alyssa Douglas.
Alyssa Douglas.

Emma said: “The test showed I had an iron deficiency and they suggested I get a proper blood test, which I got at Warwick Hospital, mostly at my wife’s insistence as she was worried as I had been very tired and not feeling myself for a while.

“This blood test changed my life and, a few weeks later, I was in hospital extremely ill and in need of a liver transplant!”

On December 17 Emma was told she was in liver failure and on Christmas Eve – and just two days after her 40th birthday - underwent a lifesaving transplant operation and is still on the long road to recovery.

“At the moment there is still no final cause for why my liver failed, it’s either autoimmune hepatitis, where my immune system just up and attacked my liver, or it’s Seronegative hepatitis, which is an unknown reason for liver failure,” added Emma.

The Local Legends logo.The Local Legends logo.
The Local Legends logo.

Emma added: “My wonderful wife’s support through this has been nothing short of amazing. Not only did she insist on the blood test, but I would not have made it through any of the last six months as well as I have without her constant love and support. She went above and beyond anything I expected – and all while juggling her own business. She's amazing and I wanted her to be

recognised for all she’s done for me in the middle of a truly scary part of our lives.”

Alyssa, now living in Coleshill with Emma, has been named one of We Love Pizza’s Local Legends and wins a month’s worth of free pizza from the award-winning restaurant, in Regent Place, Leamington.

Reacting to news of her award, Alyssa said: “I don’t think I’ve done anything more than what a partner or spouse would do, but I’m really happy that Emma is proud of me enough that she thought to put me forward.“

We Love Pizza in Leamington.We Love Pizza in Leamington.
We Love Pizza in Leamington.

Restaurateur Jose Ribeiro, who launched the Local Legends Campaign in March, said: “As a family business we understand the values and strengths we get from a family setting. When that family is disturbed by Covid and health issues, it is very easy for everything to fail apart.

“At a time when many families lost loved ones, Alyssa was determined to provide an environment that was positive, safe and loving for her beloved wife to recover, and all this whilst keeping working to support their financial needs.

"Alyssa is a true warrior and we hope our pizzas made with love, go some way to returning the joy you brought to all that surrounded you at this difficult time.”

Jose, whose restaurant has been closed more than open since it launched in September last year, has been keen to give something back to the community that has supported his business throughout those months.

Related topics: