Esme was born at 29.5 weeks which was a lot earlier than planned and very stressful. She then spent the next 10 weeks in Special Care which was a complete roller coaster of emotions for us and our families. The first two weeks she did well, but then she got an infection in her intestine, and things were touch and go. With amazing care from the staff, she fought it off and we thought we were home and dry. But then we were told that a head scan had revealed Esme had suffered brain damage and it was going to affect her mobility. This was very hard to take in at the time. After a lot of discussion with doctors and health professionals, we’ve learned a lot more about Esme’s condition and how it affects thousands of others like her.
Esme suffers from Cerebral Palsy, although this is a very broad term and can affect people in many different ways. Esme has spastic diplegia, which means she can’t walk unaided and couldn’t easily sit without falling over or move position unassisted due to the spasticity she suffered.
Three years ago we raised money for Esme to have an operation called SDR (Selective Doral Rizotomy) in St. Louis, Missouri which has given her the opportunity to grow and develop muscle and better co-ordination of her limbs. This is still work in progress but she is doing very well and we are ever hopeful that one day she will walk unaided. She continues to work hard everyday doing physiotherapy to help her build strength and her mobility.
Aside from these challenges she faces Esme is a normal 7 year old and one who excels in a number of areas – like talking (non-stop), asking for ice creams and sweets, and telling her friends at school what to do for her!