Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE -

DE­SPITE her dis­abil­i­ties, Char­lotte con­tin­ues to baf­fle Bri­tish doc­tors. Now the cheer­ful young­ster, whose mum was told she would not cel­e­brate her sec­ond birth­day, is pre­par­ing for the op­er­a­tion for­eign doc­tors are con­fi­dent will al­low her to walk. Af­ter a decade of be­ing told there was no cure for her daugh­ter, Lori Whale dis­cov­ered an Amer­i­can doc­tor will­ing to pro­vide the treat­ment he is con­vinced will cure the Oak Tree Pri­mary school, South Ash­ford, pupil. But the op­er­a­tion would have to take place on the other side of the world and cost £15,000 plus flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion. With the help of friends she launched the Help a Whale to Walk ap­peal to raise the money. Char­lotte was 14 months old when she caught a virus. Within seven weeks she had lost her sight, speech and hear­ing and had no con­trol over her bod­ily func­tions. Ex­perts at Guys Hospi­tal baby unit failed to di­ag­nose the ill­ness. Her mother said: “They told me I should make ar­range­ments for her funeral. But then mir­a­cles started to hap­pen.” At three she caught chick­en­pox and her eye­sight re­turned. Then she had her ton­sils out and both her speech and hear­ing came back. She has lit­tle bal­ance so can­not walk with­out fall­ing, and prob­lems with one hand leave her un­able to pick things up.

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