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IM Inspiring

My Early Life

My name is India and I am 5 years old. I was born with a very rare combination of heart defects so as soon as I was born I was sent to Great Ormond Street Hospital for urgent open heart surgery. I had the 1st of 4 operations at 3 days old, 3 weeks later I had another operation but it didn't go well. My heart stopped and for a while no oxygen got to my brain.

Mummy says I had to be “cooled” with ice packs for 3-days after that.

My early life was full of hospitals & Doctors but the good news was that the “cognitive” bit (thinking / understanding bit) of my brain isn't affected. The bit affected is the “motor” bit (doing bit). They told Mummy I would never walk or talk but Mummy said that was silly - she did lots of research and discovered a baby’s brain can repair and build “new routes”to do things if given intensive physical therapy.

This is called "neural plasticity" but for that to work it's really important I get as much therapy as possible while I am still young.

Because I think and understand like any other child my age I’m very lucky to have such a bossy, headstrong Mummy who pushed for lots of therapy for me here in the UK.

With everyone working together I managed to start walking and saying some words but I needed more.

My Determination & The NAPA Center Changed My Life

In 2016 Mummy found somewhere where they offer "intensive" courses of therapy - each 3-week course promises to see as much development which might usually take 6-12 months. In the Summer of 2016 we went on a big plane for a really long time, all the way to LA. Mummy had booked me into a 3 week intensive therapy course at the NAPA Center. When I arrived I couldn’t walk more than a few metres without falling over. I couldn’t run, jump or skip. I could only say about 50 words and often choked on my food. They told Mummy and me it may take 3 months to see results from my work there but after 10 days I could walk round a shopping centre unaided. I could jump, run a little and I was even trying to skip. I went from saying just 50 words to saying over 170.

It’s not easy at the NAPA Center. The days are long and very tiring for me and Mummy. It’s hard work. Sometimes I cry but Mummy hugs me, tells me it’s all ok, that she's got me, so up I get and carry on.

The trip to the NAPA Center was like waving a magic wand. It helped me begin to live life in a more able-bodied way. I do still fall over sometimes but my walking continues to improve.

How can you Help?

Mummy's friends helped me get to NAPA a second time in the Easter holidays of 2017 and I can now say around 500 words, my mobility and dexterity continues to improve greatly. I am now beginning to run, skip, jump, hold a pencil and dress myself. This weekend (May 2017) Mummy and I went to an outdoor activity centre and I managed to do so many things on my own and didnt need to use my chair at all!

We know the NAPA Center works but if I am to reach my full potential I need to go back later this year - to continue to learn new ways to do things so I can get stronger. Being just 5, I don't know much about money yet but it costs a lot - about £11,000 but the difference it makes to my every muscle is amazing.

How can you help?

If you can help Mummy's friends help me I will never be able to thank you enough because the benefits for me will last a lifetime.

We are promoting a number of events, one is a 10K outdoor swim by my Cousins Morgan and Jack. Another is a racenight dinner with live music and some fabulous prizes up for grabs including, celebrity endorsed sporting goods, signed books, gourmet food hampers for both humans and Dogs! some beauty products, some DVD night-in hampers, wine and champagne and much, much more!)

Please follow our Facebook page for more info on events and Indias progress: