The Hartlepool girl who wasn't expected to live long - and now this very special hero is almost 13!
Miracle girl Talia Foster wasn’t expect to survive her first years – now she’s about to become a teenager.
The Hartlepool 12-year-old suffered more than 100 seizures a day when she was born and doctors told her family to enjoy whatever time they had with her.
But Talia has proved everyone wrong and she will reach her 13th birthday in a matter of weeks.
Today, mum Clair, 46, reflected on Talia’s life which has brought her so many emotions. "They always say that one day you will meet your hero. I don’t need to look for a hero. Talia is mine.”
Clair added: “Her milestones are not just stones, they are boulders. When she does something which might be so small to others, it is a miracle to us.”
Talia has tackled epilepsy, brain cysts and numerous chest problems.
In the last few years, she has been:
* Registered blind with only six out of 60 vision in both eyes;
* Has been diagnosed with autism;
* Has been diagnosed with dystonia (a movement disorder where the muscles contract uncontrollably);
* Suffered bronchitis;
* Has a reduced immune system;
* Suffered an outbreak of hundreds of ulcers in her mouth.
On top of all that, she has also spent periods in hospital with pneumonia and even swine flu.
Clair said: “She is so determined and so strong.”
As her birthday approaches, Clair – who is married to Brendan, 45, and also has two other children Callum, 25, and Gabrielle, 17, – said: “It was not a good outlook when she was born. They didn’t think she was going to live for long because she was having so many seizures. They thought she could have a heart attack or a stroke.
"From being a little girl that we did not think was going to survive, here she is about to be a teenager and she is already a typical one.
"She is stroppy, very demanding and very bossy and she is my hero. But it is not just Talia I am proud of. I am proud of all my children.”
It has been a roller coaster lockdown for Talia who, because of pandemic restrictions, had to stay indoors for more than four months.
She finally got to enjoy a day out recently and Clair said: “She loved it. We went to the promenade, we got an ice cream and she was so excited.”
It means that Talia can easily be placed in a sitting, standing, supine or transitional position at a touch of a button on the chair’s remote control.
It also means a big boost for Talia’s health as she has an 85% curvature of her spine, which can ‘crumble in on itself’, said Clair.
She added: “It has made such a difference because I am not having to lift her out of three different pieces of equipment.”
Clair said: “We have been given so many things with Talia. She is a miracle to us.”