A little Queensland girl born with a rare viral infection has captured hearts after she was filmed taking her first steps, despite fears she would never walk.
Keira Hockley, who turns three in April, took her first unassisted steps last week and her mum Danielle shared video of it on Facebook.
“OMG this just happened!” she wrote.
“I can’t believe it!”
Keira, of the Sunshine Coast, was diagnosed with congenital cytomegalovirus after 37 weeks.
The virus is a member of the herpes family, and while 50 per cent of young adults have it, the effects can be more serious if it is passed on to a child. They include deafness, poor eyesight and intellectual disabilities, according to Better Health Victoria.
It’s rare too and affects only 0.2-2.5 per cent of babies worldwide, according to American Pregnancy Association.
‘We were met with hurdle after hurdle’
Ms Hockley, a mum of three, told Yahoo7 “it was awful” when she was handed her little girl and given the diagnosis.
“The doctors were like, ‘we don’t know what’s going to happen’,” she said.
“It was hard. We expected a healthy little girl and we’ve been met with hurdle after hurdle.”
The two-year-old is autistic and has global development delay.
She’s also deaf, non-verbal and has vision problems.
It’s led to an ongoing waiting game for her parents as to when she will walk, talk and go to school.
Most children walk at around 12 months.
Keira attends physiotherapy and speech therapy twice a week, and occupational therapy once.
When asked if she feared her little girl would never walk, Ms Hockley said “definitely”.
“The minute she was handed to me we thought there was a chance she’d forever be in a wheelchair,” she said.
“I did a heap of research which in hindsight was a bad idea.
“But now, I’m over the moon.”
Her mum added “it’s been two years in the making”.
Not slowing down
On Facebook, people said the video of Keira walking was “sensational” and the culmination of “dedicated parents and Keira’s determination”.
“This is absolutely amazing,” one woman wrote.
“So proud of you, gorgeous girl.”
Keira doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
It’s “taken ages” for the little girl to learn how to balance herself but now she’s on her feet at the playground and enjoying trips to the supermarket with her dad.
“She’s obsessed with going to the playground,” Ms Hockley said.
“She loves going and playing with the matting.
“Keira was also out with her dad walking at the shopping centre last night.”
Ms Hockley has started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help care for Keira while her uncle Damian will participate in the Noosa Classic cycling event, another fundraiser, in August.
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