Friday, May 18, 2007

My baby only has half a brain

Smiling in her mother's arms, little Chase Smith seems like a typical toddler. But the cherubic youngster is different in one important way...she was born with half her brain missing.

The condition is so rare there are only a few known cases in the world.

"The shock and terror I felt is hard to describe as I struggled to take in the harsh truth - the left-hand side of Chase's brain was completely missing," mother Stephanie Jepson said.

"There was just a big black space while the other half looked perfectly normal."

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Chase was born weighing 8lb 1oz in December 2004. Her parents, Stephanie, 21 and partner Adam Smith, 20 who works as a plasterer, moved to Barnsley soon after the birth.

"We just couldn't believe how beautiful she was," Stephanie said.

"She was the dream child from the beginning. She was really cuddly and docile."

But they soon realised something was wrong when the tot had trouble moving her right arm and hand.

"When she was seven months, I noticed her right arm wasn't moving very much and her right hand was always in a fist. I told the health visitor and she though it might just be what is known as a 'lazy arm'," Ms Jepson told The Sun.

After Chase was referred to a physiotherapist they discovered that her right leg wasn't responding correctly either. She was diagnosed with Hemiplegia - with symptoms similar to a stroke victim.

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After a six-month wait Chase was booked in for a brain scan at Sheffield Children's Hospital. Six weeks later, Stephanie and Adam returned for the results.

"I could see the doctor's lips moving, and her telling me my child had half a brain, but it just wouldn't sink in," Stephanie said.

"It was only when she put the scan X-rays up that I grasped it. One side was just empty."

The condition, called bilateral schizencephaly, is so rare that doctors admit they don't know how Chase will develop.

"She might never walk, talk or do most things we take for granted," Sophie said.

"But she is such a strong character that I know she can accomplish anything she wants. She has a way of shuffling to get to where she wants to go.

"She is so happy playing with the other kids and is the cuddliest and most loving little girl ever, with an incredible smile."

Sophie is optimistic about Chase's future and plans to have more children. There is some evidence which shows a developing brain can compensate for the areas missing.

"I know people will find this hard to believe but I wouldn't change a thing in our lives - Chase is a blessing," Sophie said.

"She has changed our lives and made us a much stronger family. Every day we are just thankful that she was given to us."

source:- Dailymail

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New Zealand 08 said...

Hi there you are so blessed my daughter had the same condition. Unfortunly she died when I was eight months pregnant doctors told me she wouldn't live more than a hour after birth and that was if she survied tha labour, I was devistated. I only wish I had more infomatiom back then and things may have been different. I just want to say all the best and shes absolutly beautiful and such a happy wee girl.

shalinahallsted said...

She is a beautiful young child, and I am sorry for what has happened. But all in all, children are a gift, especially the incredibly special ones, they can do so much more than what people give them credit for. And they are just as amazing as any other kid, as if there were no difference. Keep loving your child as you are, she is a blessing, and always will be.

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