Talia is our little heroine

Clair and Brendan Foster with Talia
Clair and Brendan Foster with Talia

MEET angel-faced youngster Talia Foster.

She’s two years old and has battled through a catalogue of health problems with a smile on her face.

She’s just overcome her latest hurdle – a week-long fight against swine flu with mum Clair and dad Brendan by her side.

Today, Clair, 36, from Hartlepool, praised her “little battler,” adding: “She has fought from the day she was born.”

Talia rarely cries, barely moans and has patiently put up with a string of medical tests.

This is a little girl whose life has been filled with drama from the moment she entered the world.

Doctors had to resuscitate her when she did not breathe for nine minutes after her birth. Three days later, she had her first epileptic seizure.

One thousand more have followed.

In her latest fight, she was rushed to the University Hospital of North Tees and diagnosed with swine flu just after Boxing Day.

Clair said: “They gave her oxygen, an inhaler, steroids, antibiotics and her temperature was 39 degrees Centigrade.

“They did a chest X-ray and she had pneumonia as well as swine flu.

“She got over that and now she has a chest infection and an ear infection. She’s had it tough.”

But Clair, who is also Talia’s full-time carer, said: “I would not change her for anything in the world.

“I am so proud of her. She very rarely cries or moans. She has been through so much in her life than I have in mine and I am 36.

“All I want to ask is ‘when is she going to get a break? When is it going to be her turn for some good luck?’ She’s never had any.”

Talia was born weighing 7lbs 4ozs at 3.45am on August 18, 2008, at the University Hospital of Hartlepool – the third child to Clair and husband Brendan, 35, who works as a furniture distributor for a Hartlepool firm.

The couple have two other children, Callum, 15, who attends English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College in Hartlepool, and Gabrielle, aged six, a pupil at Sacred Heart Primary School in Hartlepool.

In an almost constant round of health tests since her birth, Talia has had two lumbar punctures, ultrasound tests, MRI scans, 10 electroencephalogram tests (to record brain activity) plus blood and urine samples.

Clair, from the Owton Manor area of town, spoke to the Mail to raise awareness of epilepsy and to highlight a fundraising drive to send Talia to a specialist centre in Oxfordshire for treatment.

She said: “I want people to meet her and get to know her. I want them to know she is a little girl with her own personality.

“I just want her to have a bit of quality of life.”

l Mail view: Page 8