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Child of Courage Award sponsored by Skechers UK
Recognises an incredible child who has had exceptional courage in the face of adversity (15 & under). Sponsored by Skechers UK, find style and comfort at an affordable price in Regent Arcade.
Our daughter was born 13 weeks early, weighing less than a bag of sugar (only 880g). She was in Special care for 9 weeks and, when she came home, it seemed that she had come through the experience without a problem. As she grew older, she met all her different milestones, except one, she didn't start walking. We saw a physio regularly and had different exercises to do with her, but still, the walking didn't come.
At the age of 2 years and 2 months, she finally took her first steps. 3 days later, we saw a paediatrician who diagnosed her with Cerebral Palsy. At some point during her early days in Special care, she had suffered a bleed in her brain, and the scar tissue was interfering with the messages from her brain to her legs. She was, however, determined. She fell often when she was younger, but didn't complain, she would just get up and carry on.
We became aware of an operation called SDR which could help her. There was only one problem - it wasn't funded on the NHS. We raised £40,000 through the kindness of friends, family and strangers alike, and in October 2013, at the age of 4, she had SDR.
In the few years since her operation, my daughter has done regular physio, horse riding, gymnastics and swimming to build up her strength and stamina. This will be a regime she needs to continue throughout her life. Throughout it all, she smiles and always tries her best. She may be tired and stiff, but she battles through and achieves more than we ever dreamed would be possible.
I think she is a Child of Courage as she faces her difficulties with true determination and positivity at all times. She now dreams of being an author and a naturalist when she is older. Her hero is Sir David Attenborough. She is determined not to let her disability hold her back.
My son lost his hearing at just 9 months through bacterial meningitis. Every parent's worst nightmare and a horrific experience I will never forget. After 2 weeks in hospital, we finally came home, but my baby boy was changed forever and my precious firstborn was now deaf. He has never ever let his disability stop him from giving everything a go, his determination and have a go attitude means he is thriving at mainstream school and enjoys lots of extra activities including drama class, swimming lessons and football. He is a superhero and a fantastic example of not letting anything stop you from achieving your dreams.
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