Pippo Association i 2016 Støtter Cecilia

BIO City 2016 kl. 18.00

Every year when we get close to Cecilia’s birthday, memories start coming to me from when she was born. I was 27 weeks and 6 days into my pregnancy and busy doing my Masters at university. My plan was to start preparations for her birth when I reached 30 weeks and I was looking forward to the day with great anticipation. But I never reached the day, at least not with her still safe in my womb, for that very afternoon my water broke and I was admitted into hospital. There I was, full of unanswered questions and with no idea of what can happen, if I should give birth so prematurely.

Six days later the most beautiful little princess, Cecilia, was born by emergency C-section. She was taken to intensive care because her breathing was dissatisfactory, but released and moved to the ordinary premature ward after two days. The following two months were long, yet filled with the frustration of never having enough time to make ends meet. I chased back and forth between our home in Århus and Skejby Sygehus, constantly feeling guilty of not being able to meet my 4 year old sons, my daughters, or my husbands needs. And on top of that I spent every 3-4 hours locked to a machine to pump out milk for 40 long minutes.

And then she came home, just in time for Christmas Eve and she was the best gift ever. The time following was as it is for many parents with premature children. She reacted to almost every little noise, had difficulties in coping with stimuli and was only at ease if she was on my arm, at home or in her pram in the morning, while the city still was half asleep. We kept to ourselves, my eldest visited kindergarten irregularly that winter and spring and we had no visits from other children. Any precaution we could take to reduce the danger of infection was taken and we were safe from colds, coughs and flus. Our daughter had and still has a very strong constitution!

When she reached 8-9 months of age, corrected 5-6 months, I noticed she was not able to sit on her bum like other babies, apart from that, however, her development was absolutely normal. I had written my sons milestones in a baby-book and used that as a guideline for hers, so this finding troubled me and I consulted the health visitor, who visited us every month. Her comment still haunts me at times, since it was so insensitive and thoughtless. She said: well, now we just have to find out how brain damaged she is, for you do now this is a sign for that.

I was shocked and totally unprepared by that information. Maybe I am naïve or too optimistic, but I was and still am convinced, that my little gem is completely healthy and well. Time has proven me to be right, for her challenge is a motoric difficulty, not cognitive.

Anyway, the comment led to physiotherapy every fortnight at Skejby Sygehus. My little girl could hardly manage the racket at the hospital, the check-ups with the doctors and the stimulus of physiotherapy to top it off. I hardly knew her during those visits; she screamed at the top of her lungs whenever she heard the main doors open and only stopped when she was safe in the car on our way home. She got as stiff as a board, if she caught the sound of a rattling laboratory trolley, and it was pure torture if anyone other than her father or I touched her. The system did what it could to diagnose and doubt any observations I might have of her in different surroundings, and not one individual there believed that she was able to do anything normal. For what else did they see but a screaming, scared child? And all I could do was to try to comfort her by holding her at my breast…

It went on for a year without any progress whatsoever, but there was a light ahead at the end of the tunnel: the strike in 2008. Finally a little peace could settle in our life and Cecilia had a break from physiotherapy etc.

In the meantime she was now 1 year and 9 months old, and had learned to pull herself forward on the floor by her hands – the legs trailed behind her like a mermaid’s tail. She loved walking if we held her hands, but her muscles were not able to meet such a challenging effort, despite her joy of it. We moved to Zealand when she was 2 years old, for our family now counted 3 children and we had been offered a house there – far out in the countryside with peace and quiet guaranteed. A physiotherapist came to our home twice a week to treat Cecilia and it was a relief to see how much easier that was for her.

But still there was no progress in her motoric development. She still pulled herself forward by her hands, and although she could stand on all fours she was not able to crawl. The physiotherapist started speaking of shins, Botox injections and muscle lengthening surgery, and again I felt this was totally wrong for my little darling. I sought other treatment in Denmark and abroad and stumbled across ABR, Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation – a therapy with a very different approach than physiotherapy. One exercise was sufficient to get her crawling to her hearts content and it proved to us, that there always is another way, you simply have to search for it and want to do the effort.

However, she still did not get to walking, so ABR led us on to craniopathy and finally to myoreflextherapy – a therapy that enjoys great international acknowledgement for its stunning results. Cecilia can now walk on her own; she does so more and more each day, and despite the progress being small at times, there always is something new from one treatment session to the next.

Cecilia’s biggest wish is to be able to play catch with her brothers and classmates and maybe even outrun them, for now she is a 7 year old schoolgirl who enjoys school like anyone her age. She is full of confidence, for the doctor who treats her insured her, that in time her wish will come true…

Pippo Association heard of Cecilia’s wish and has offered to support her in reaching it. Like all the previous support Pippo Association has given to other projects, we feel this support is given out of the heartfelt, caring empathy that is the association’s core value. For Cecilia this means that she may be able to receive treatment more often and thus speed up progress in her motoric development. Who knows, maybe she can even enjoy a week of intensive treatment at the myoreflextherapy centre in Germany and reach her wish within one year.

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