Brave Talia is loving full-time school after defying the odds for five years

Talia Foster with her mum Clair (rear 2nd left) and Springwell School staff (left to right) Pam Connolly, Sandra Sweeney, Shaunie McDonald, Jane Iley and Shelby Whitelock
Talia Foster with her mum Clair (rear 2nd left) and Springwell School staff (left to right) Pam Connolly, Sandra Sweeney, Shaunie McDonald, Jane Iley and Shelby Whitelock

WHEN Talia Foster was born doctors prepared her mum to fear the worst and warned her family she may not survive.

But this week, after five years of defying the odds, the battling youngster started full-time school.

Adorable Talia, five, joined her friends and new teachers at Springwell Primary School, Hartlepool, and according to mum Clair, 39, she “absolutely loves it”.

“When I wake her up on a morning and tell her we will get her ready for school her face lights up,” said proud Clair.

Brave Talia has tackled epilepsy, brain cysts and numerous respiratory problems in her short life.

In her first years she used to suffer hundreds of seizures every day and spent days at a time in hospital.

But now she continues to get stronger by the day, made possible by the fantastic team of physiotherapists at the specialist centres she visits throughout the country.

Clair, who is married to Brendan, 37, and also a mum of Callum, 18, and Gabrielle, nine, said: “When we first had Talia, doctors didn’t think she would survive.

“So to get her to nursery and now to full-time school has been amazing.

“But that just sums Talia up, she has spent her life proving people wrong, she does it every single day.

“She hasn’t had a seizure for a long time now, her chest is absolutely fine, whereas she used to suffer constantly and we go to hospital probably once a year while we used to be there all the time.

“She’s getting stronger all of the time and more confident.”

Classes at Springwell Primary School are based on ability rather than age and Talia has started in the purple class, where all of the pupils with additional needs will receive non-stop support from the specialist staff in the school.

Talia, who was one of the four Children of Courage at this year’s Pride of Hartlepool Awards, will get hydrotherapy sessions and go out on a trip every week with the school.

Clair added: “Talia and the other kids in the class still learn all the subjects we would learn but they do it in a way which will help them.

“She came on leaps and bounds when she was at nursery so school will just help her to develop even more.”