Woman Was Told To ᴀʙᴏʀᴛ Her Daughter 10 Times – Now She Needs £12K To Help Her Walk
Natalie Halson, 32, of Manchester, was warned before the birth of her little girl, Mirabelle, that she would never walk. HᴏʀʀɪFɪᴇᴅ Natalie “knew in her gut” to keep her child, who is now three years old. Natalie first became ᴀᴡᴀʀᴇ ᴏF ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴄᴀᴛɪᴏɴs with Mirabelle’s health at her 22-week sᴄᴀɴShe said: “It was Fʟᴀɢɢᴇᴅ ᴅᴜʀɪɴɢ ᴛʜᴇ ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ that she had sᴘɪɴᴀ ʙɪFɪᴅᴀ.At that point, I was also told I had the option of ᴀʙᴏʀᴛion which was just completely horrifying to hear. That wasn’t the only time I was offered an ᴀʙᴏʀᴛion – it was recommended to me a further nine times during the remainder of my pregnancy but I ʀᴇFᴜsᴇᴅ. Doctors warned me that my baby might not have any quality of life, but I knew in my gut that I was doing the right thing.”
Mirabelle was ᴅɪᴀɢɴᴏsᴇᴅ with sᴘɪɴᴀ ʙɪFɪᴅᴀ which, according to the NHS, is when a baby’s sᴘɪɴᴇ ᴀɴᴅ sᴘɪɴᴀʟ ᴄᴏʀᴅ does not develop properly in the womb, causing a gap in the spine. It can cause ᴘᴀʀᴀʟʏsɪs ᴏF ᴛʜᴇ ʟᴇɢs, ɪɴᴄᴏɴᴛɪɴᴇɴᴄᴇ, ᴀ ʙᴜɪʟᴅ-ᴜᴘ ᴏF Fʟᴜɪᴅ ᴏɴ ᴛʜᴇ ʙʀᴀɪɴ and occasionally, learning difficulties. Mirabelle is paralysed from the waist down. However, specialist therapy in Florida could help change that, and allow Mirabelle to take her first steps.
Natalie, an NHS worker, said: “Medics had such low expectations for Mirabelle’s life when I was pregnant, in fact, that after her diagnosis I was offered an ᴀʙᴏʀᴛion 10 times before I gave birth.”
Determined to give her little girl a fighting chance, Natalie continued with the pregnancy, travelling from Manchester to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital every three weeks for a special ᴜʟᴛʀᴀsᴏᴜɴᴅ.
She said: “I was hoping for her to have a foetal sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ to fix her sᴘɪɴᴀ ʙɪFɪᴅᴀ from inside the womb, but she did not qualify as the gap on her back was too big. Instead, I knew that she would need sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ immediately after being born.”Baby Mirabelle was born on December 12 2018, via C-sᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ at Liverpool Women’s Hospital. But she was whisked away for sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ straight afterwards at Alder Hey. It was a further six weeks before Natalie was able to take Mirabelle home, in January 2019. In that time, the youngster had three further operations to correct abnormalities in her spine and had a shunt fitted at two weeks old. Since then, Mirabelle has come on in leaps and bounds, surpassing doctors’ expectations.
Natalie said: “She’s really ᴄʜᴇᴇᴋy and so on the ball. She’s such a clever girl.”
Natalie added: “This will be life changing for Mirabelle. She knows that we’re raising money to go to America to help her learn how to ᴡᴀʟᴋand she’s so excited. She talks about it every day.”The ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida, USA, plus flights and insurance, will set Natalie back £12,000. She is asking for help in order to get Mirabelle the ᴛʀᴇᴀᴛᴍᴇɴᴛ she needs – which will also give her independence to do daily tasks such as feeding and dressing.
Natalie said: “We’re doing everything we can to raise the money – raffle prizes, charity evenings, everyone in our local community is pitching in. We all have one goal in mind and that is to get Mirabelle walking.”