THE family of brave youngster Talia Foster are pleased with the youngster’s development this year and are looking forward to some important dates ahead.
It’s been a year of mixed emotions for loving parents Clair and Brendan.
Their battling daughter Talia, three, has come on leaps and bounds and physiotherapists have expressed huge delight at her progress.
However there have been some scares along the way. The youngster slept for nearly eight days solid when she spent 10 days in hospital with pneumonia earlier this year.
Talia returned to full health, but the illness meant an important physiotherapy consultation had to put back until next year.
The youngster, who suffers a daily ordeal of seizures and takes eight different types of medication, has also developed some worrying new movements, although specialists keep a close eye on her to ensure they aren’t dangerous.
Clair, 37, and Brendan, 35, have been forced to watch on in despair over the last month, however, as the youngster has started tearing her own hair out.
She has developed a condition known as Trichotillomania and is tearing hair from the left side of her head on a daily basis.
Mum Clair said: “She is trying to pull her hair to her mouth but she’s just tearing it out.
“It’s awful to watch, but she just doesn’t understand that it’s wrong.
“You would think she would cry because of the pain but she has such a high pain threshold it doesn’t seem to be hurting her.
“We have to stitch her clothes in a way that stops her reaching to her head and pulling her hair out.”
Talia will continue with physiotherapy in the new year with some important visits ahead.
She has had treatment at the Step Together Centre, in Darlington throughout the year and those sessions will continue.
She will also make the trip to a specialist centre in Oxford for the consultation which was postponed earlier this year.
And Talia and her family will also visit the Cerebral Palsy Physio Centre, in Milton Keynes, for a three week block of specialist treatment.
Clair, who is also mum to Callum, 16, and Gabrielle, seven, added: “The treatment Talia has had has been excellent this year.
“The centre at Darlington is great and to get the green light to go to Milton Keynes was fantastic.
“The specialists have been really pleased with how she is coming on and so are we, we are extremely proud.”
Talia’s development has also been helped by specialist equipment in her bedroom helping her to sleep in certain positions.
The physiotherapy trips and equipment have been funded by generous people in Hartlepool who have donated more than £34,000 in support of Talia.
Dozens of fundraisers have been organised and, as reported in the Hartlepool Mail last week, Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, in the town, is supporting Talia for the upcoming year.
“The support we have had has absolutely blown us away,” added Clair.
“We can’t thank people enough.”