Gabriella is a gorgeous 3 year old from Southgate in North London. A much longed for baby, Gabriella sadly asphyxiated during birth and so emerged not breathing. Instead of being greeted with her parents’ cuddles, little Gabriella was placed in a medical coma and ‘cooled’ for 72 hours, spending the first five and a half weeks of her life in intensive care.
We are so fortunate that our sparky little daughter is alive, but as a result of the brain damage Gabriella experienced she has quadraplegic cerebral palsy and is fed via a tube into her intestines. Currently she is not able to roll, sit, crawl, stand or talk, but she smiles, laughs, has a great sense of humour, loves company and tries so hard to communicate and join in. She is a source of much joy, but we must do all we can to enable her to reach her potential. Increasing her access to specialised therapies and equipment, especially in the first few years of her life, will help her so much.
Our main goal is to take her to a number of intensive therapies hosted by the NAPA Institutes in US and Australia. However,our knowledge of Gabriella’s needs and also the therapies open and available to her may well change significantly over time.
Gabriella has privately-funded weekly physio sessions following these methodologies, which are helping her to improve her core strength, head and limb control. Experiencing this treatment over 3 weeks in an intensive setting should greatly help her to achieve independent movement, sitting and even standing. So far it has helped her learn to weight bear on her legs which is an amazing achievement for her.
These centres also provide fabulous Speech and Language support which we struggle to access in the UK. As a non-verbal child, helping Gabriella learn to communicate via symbols and technology will be critical to reducing her frustration and allowing her to interact with the world. Whilst she does not yet speak, she certainly has a lot she wants to say and we want to enable her find her voice using whatever methods are possible.
Gabriella is a delightful and determined girl who tries so hard in all she does. We would appreciate any support to help her to thrive and grab all that life has to offer.