This amazing Hartlepool girl wasn't expected to live more than a few days - but look at her now!
Meet the Hartlepool youngster who keeps on defying the odds – 11 years after doctors thought she would die.
Courageous Talia Foster had hundreds of seizures a day when she was first born and doctors told her mum Clair she may not survive infancy.
But Talia, now 11, is a true battler who never stops defying the odds. She has just started as a pupil at Catcote Academy and is ‘absolutely loving it’, said Clair, 45.
“She is such a happy little girl and she is constantly giggling from first getting up on a morning.”
Life has been tough for the youngster from the Brierton area. After overcoming a string of problems in her early life, new conditions just kept on being diagnosed.
In the last few years, she has been:
* Registered blind with only 6 out of 60 vision in both eyes;
* Has scoliosis and will need major surgery in the next six months;
* 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.
Yet Talia has always found a way to fight back. She now has an eye-operated communication device where she can tell people information such as what she wants for dinner.
She is a much-loved pupil at Catcote and Clair said: “They tell me she is an absolute pleasure to have in her class.
“She understands everything that you say to her but it just takes a little bit longer for Talia to process it. She will interact.
“When she was born, the neurologists said they didn’t think she would survive. When she was four days old, she began having hundreds of seizures in a day and the neurosurgeon said children often pass away and there could be no reason for it.
“But here she is 11 years later. She is amazing and she is our little fighter.”
As well as her communication device, amazing Talia has also learned how to use a walking harness.
She gets amatsu tissue therapy once a fortnight, has a hydrotherapy hot tub to improve her muscle tone and has a wheelchair bike to get around with her mum.
And all this comes 11 years after Talia was not breathing when she was born – and it took doctors 10 minutes to revive her.
In her short life she has tackled epilepsy, brain cysts and numerous chest problems.
On top of all that, she has also spent periods in hospital with pneumonia and even swine flu.
But Clair – who is married to Brendan, 43, and is also mum to Callum, 24, and Gabrielle, 15 – said: “I like the fact that Talia loves to prove everyone wrong. She is so strong.”
Talia’s health battles are far from over.
Further and extensive hospital surgery is on the horizon within six months because of her scoliosis but in the meantime, Talia will enjoy a fantastic family Christmas and Clair said: She is really excited and she loves all the lights.”