Our youngest grandchild was born in May 2014, at 35 weeks by caesarean section, because she was showing signs of distress in the womb. She weighed 4lb 11oz, was breathing well, and, initially, everything seemed fine, apart from her head being at the larger end of average.
Over the next few months there were obvious problems with her development, for example, at 7 months she didn't reach out to grab anything, and didn't put anything in her mouth. She was making no effort to get mobile and consistently failed developmental tests. At 8 months she was sent for a brain scan but, because her name 'fell off' the system, nobody was informed of the result, and there was a long, long delay before a follow up appointment.
It wasn't until she was 13 months old that she was finally diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia, or PVL. This means that the area of her brain that transmits signals from her brain to her muscles had been damaged by oxygen starvation. This means all of her muscles; not just arms and legs, but lips and throat and tongue, which has implications not just for walking and using her hands, but speaking, chewing and swallowing. At this stage she couldn't roll over if she was laid on her back. She could remain sitting if she was sat up. If food was put in her hand she would try to put it to her mouth but often missed.
I was absolutely devastated by this diagnosis. I cried so hard and felt so heartbroken, but God spoke to me. He gave me a verse – John 9:3 – and told me that this was nobody's fault, but would be used to bring glory to His Name. We, along with family and friends, started praying.....
Six months later, little P. had made amazing progress. She had rolled over, started crawling, and was feeding herself with a spoon, which is a very tricky bit of hand control. The day after her 2nd birthday she pulled herself up on a walker toy and set off down the garden. She is now 2yrs and 8 months, sings sweetly and tunefully to herself whilst she is playing, climbs stairs and ladders (!) at speed, and moves around a room supporting herself on furniture or holding somebody's hand. We believe that she just needs a bit of courage to let go. God has given us dreams and prophetic words about her running around playing with her brother; she has amazed and delighted doctors by her progress already. All the praise goes to God!