My name is Jessica and I am 5 years old
. . . I arrived 11 weeks early, which was a huge surprise for Mum and Dad. I spent the first 7 weeks of my life at the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit. When I was a month old, Mum and Dad were told by doctors that I was expected to be severely disabled for the rest of my life, and might also be totally blind. When they asked the hospital specialists what they could do to help, they were told not to give up hope.
I’m not blind, though I have a visual field defect, but I do suffer from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. My brain sends out incorrect messages to my nerves which control my muscles, making it very difficult to move and walk.
Why I need your help NOW!
I’ve climbed many mountains to get where I am today. Movements that come naturally to most babies – reaching out, rolling over, sitting balance and crawling – have all had to be learnt by me through hard work and daily physiotherapy. I didn’t roll until I was one year old, and I only started an adapted crawl when I was two. Now 5 years old, I’m able to use a Kaye Walker for short distances (you can see a cool video of me using it on my Blog and Facebook page!) – but I mainly have to use a wheelchair to get around.
Mum and Dad want to keep helping me the best they can through continued specialist physiotherapy and now also two operations in America, which could permanently reduce the tightness in my legs and hopefully help me walk on my own. They are very expensive! I’m having these operations in January 2015, and they will have to be followed with lots of specialised private physiotherapy to be fully effective.
I now need your help to raise the money for my treatments as Mum and Dad can no longer afford to do this by themselves.
I dream of being able to stand by myself and walk unaided into my classroom just like the other children, splash in puddles like my little brother George, and – my favourite thing of all – to dance. I’d really love to be able to dance on my own two feet!
Please help my dreams come true.