A toddler who developed an inexplicable condition which prevented her from smiling, crawling, talking and laughing, has made ‘mindblowing’ progress since undergoing pioneering brain treatment from the USA.
Rose Winchcombe was just 15 months old when, seemingly out of nowhere, she suddenly transformed into a shadow of her former self, much to the despair of her parents Jo and Matt from Two Mills.
When Rose simultaneously developed epilepsy, she had to undergo numerous tests and scans at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital but even though doctors ruled out a brain tumour, nothing could be determined.
Even now, doctors are still trying to determine the exact cause of Rose’s condition and genetic tests are still ongoing, but now thanks to therapy from the US-based Family Home Center (FHC) who work to establish a clear and factual understanding of what’s going on in children’s brains, she has come on in leaps and bounds.
After 18 months of fundraising to cover the costs of treatment, mum Jo told The Chronicle that Rose, now four, is able to speak in full sentences, express opinions and make comments about the things around her. She has even started feeding herself and is beginning to attempt to dress herself on her own.
Her family have managed to raise more than £13,000 through various fundraisers to help her get to where she is today and the Raise for Rose charity has even become the official 2016 charity of Burleydam Garden Centre in Little Sutton.
Jo said: “Rose’s progress has been mind-blowing over the past 18 months. It’s been hard work dedicating five hours a day, 4-5 times a week, but so, so worth it!
“She can count and read and knows all the letters of the alphabet and the sounds they make - she doesn’t even start school until September! The most amazing thing of all, though, is that she has taken her very first independent steps.
“We wanted her to walk so badly, but were too scared to get our hopes up. Although she isn’t walking full time yet, she can do it and is getting stronger all the time,” added Jo.
“Her ability to walk meant that she could be a bridesmaid in September and, as you can imagine, it was a very emotional experience watching her walk down the aisle holding on to her auntie’s hand. We never thought it possible.
“Exciting too was that the improved dexterity in her fingers meant she could unwrap all her Christmas presents by herself for the very first time! This is probably something that most parents take for granted, but for us it was a real milestone.”
Jo explained: “When we started her treatment in October 2014 she was three and a half, but with a mental age of 18 months. She now has an overall mental age of three and it’s improving all the time. The FHC programme really has made the difference to all our lives – I can’t recommend them highly enough.”
The FHC are giving a seminar at Manchester Conference Centre from 10.30am-1.30m on Saturday, April 16. You can order tickets here .