Cherie was born with emergency caesarian section on week 28, 12 weeks early and weighed only 2 lb 1.86 oz/980g. For the following three months Cherie was cared by dedicated doctors and nurses before she was allowed to come home on her original due date.
Unfortunately Cherie got to be at home only a month before she was rushed to hospital again. One day Cherie just stopped breathing. The doctors told that her trachea was very small because of her pre-maturity and that she needed an operation called tracheostomy to be able to breath. However, after negotiating with her mum, the doctors decided to do a vocal cord split instead and that is how Cherie’s recovery started. She spent weeks in the Crumlin Children’s hospital with her mum but was finally allowed to come back home again.
Cherie had a MRI scan taken in the ICU few weeks after her birth and the doctors told her mum that it is quite likely that her gross motor skills will be affected by the brain damage seen on the scan. So when Cherie didn’t develop the same way than her older sisters had developed, her parents were prepared to hear the news. After a numerous visits to doctors and pediatricians Cherie was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Spastic Diplegia type, which means that her legs are affected more than her arms. Cerebral Palsy makes Cherie’s feet turn inwards, walk on her toes, causes lot of discomfort and she has a great difficulty with balance and coordination. And because her feet turn in, she trips over and falls over a lot. Normal daily activities like putting on clothes, going up and down stairs and getting up from sitting down are really difficult for Cherie. Every day after school she has to spend one hour standing on her stander (standing frame) to improve her muscle strength and to relieve the tightness in her legs. But as Cherie grow bigger the tightness becomes worse and makes everyday tasks more and more difficult for her. Cherie is unable to walk unaided and walks with a K-walker inside home and short distances outside. For longer distances and all outings she needs a wheelchair. Cherie also has to wear splints to keep her legs straight. Cherie is attending Enable Ireland for therapies and she is also following a therapy program at home.
Despite her daily challenges, Cherie is just a normal bright happy little girl, who takes much of her disability on her stride and also attends a mainstream primary school. But with your help and support, her future could be a lot brighter though, as she has been given a life changing opportunity, at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the USA, to have an operation called SDR by a wonderful neurosurgeon called Dr. T.S. Park.
This SDR operation will permanently remove all the tightness (spasticity) in her legs and help her improve her walking, posture and gain flat feet so hopefully she should able to run, skip, dance and play hopscotch just like all her friends can do.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Cherie’s website and If you can help her in any way, no matter how big or small to reach her goal and fulfill her dreams, we will be forever grateful. We know Cherie has a long journey ahead of her but with your support she could be one step closer to reaching her goal.
Cherie's pre-op evaluation video
Below is a link to view a shortened version of my SDR evaluation video, which Dr Park used to make a determination of my suitability for the SDR procedure.