A dance to help Mila move again
- Credit: Archant
The plight of a two-year-old girl once running, walking and reading but suddenly disabled has touched the hearts of people in Dunmow.
After just three weeks of fund-raising for her rehabilitation, over £10,000 has been reached out of a £50,000 target.
Now a charity Eighties Night is being held at Foakes Hall by Dunmow Round Table.
The music will be from the Total Eighties Band and there will be a disco by DJ Pete Sparks.
This is a dance to help a little girl who will need a lot of help to ever dance again.
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Mila Smith from Great Bardfield was like any other little girl until the end of last year.
Her parents were told before she was born that he had a condition which could disable her but for the first two years of her life, that hadn't happened and they hoped for the best.
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Her mum, Laura said: "She was hilarious, she was such a good character. ,
"We knew something could happen but you never think it will happen to you. The unimaginable has happened."
She added: "Everyone has been so amazing. It's overwhelming. We are trying to be positive and hope she comes back to us."
Mila, who will be three in April, was diagnosed with tuberose sclerosis type 2 in the womb after benign tumours were found in her heart and brain.
The condition, also known as tuberous sclerosis complex, is a rare genetic development that causes benign tumours to develop in the body.
Some people have few symptoms and the condition has little effect on their life. Others have severe problems.
Mila was diagnosed with epilepsy at just four months but until the end of last year, she was otherwise well. She went for most of last year with fewer fits and in September started at pre-school.
But in December Mila had a prolonged fit, which has damaged her brain and left her immobile. She can't even move her face to make expressions.
Mila has been in Addenbrooke's Hospital since then.
She is expected to be discharged in April and she has an NHS place at Tadworth Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey.
Her parents, Laura and Spencer will need money to adapt their home because doctors say she will not walk again.
Other fundraising events are on stream for the rest of the year.
Her grandfather, Darren Thomas told the Broadcast: "It's quite humbling to see so many people rallying to help. It's sad to see a little girl not even three going through what she has been through already."
Mr Thomas, who works at the One Life Gym in Great Dunmow, is a member of the cycling club Dunmow Velo.
He and friends and family have plans for fund-raisers including cycling, swimming, (with the Dunmow Atlantis Club) and climbing mountains including Ben Nevis and the Peak District.
After Mila's last, prologued fit, she developed dystonia, a disorder, which causes muscles to contract uncontrollably.
The once very active, playful, funny and happy little girl who enjoyed being outside as much as she could, now cannot move.
Doctors have said surgery is impossible. Physio and sensory stimulation are the only therapies which can help encourage any progress.
After Tadworth, a specialist residential rehabilitation centre for children with brain injuries,
she will need physiotherapy, which will have to be paid for privately.
Among the equipment Mila's family will need are a special car seat and they hope to convert part of their home into a sensory room and build a hydrotherapy pool to help with her muscle strength, co-ordination and balance. Mila's home will need to be adapted for a wheelchair.
Her parents would also like to get Mila an epilepsy therapy dog. These animals can detect seizures anywhere from 30 seconds to 45 minutes before an episode.
They live near a river and hope eventually to create a path for Mila and other disabled children to use.
They also hope to make a donation to Addenbrooke's Hospital and Tadworth once Mila's care is completed.
Great Dunmow Round Table has already donated £2,000 to Mila's fund. It hopes to raise even more from the Eighties Night.
The Eighties Night is on Saturday, February 22. Licensed bar. Doors 7.30pm. Music from 8pm to Midnight. Tickets, £12.50 from www.dunmowconcert.co.uk. There are also tickets available on the Dunmow Round Table website.
To help Mila's fund, go to: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wakeupmila.