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.