Rhea was born on 29th December 2002 after what seemed to be an uneventful pregnancy. I noticed that Rhea was unresponsive from the very beginning but my fears that something was seriously wrong with Rhea were confirmed when she started having epileptic seizures at the age of just 8 weeks old. Watching a new born baby have seizures is just heart-breaking and sadly things deteriorated drastically and she was having up to 200 seizures a day and requiring hospitalising regular also. It was at this stage that her father left us and left me to bring up Rhea alone with the help of my father.
After various tests I was told that Rhea had cerebral palsy and that only time would tell the extent of the disabilities she would suffer from for the rest of her life. She is Blind, continues to suffer from very bad Epilepsy, has Developmental Delay (she cannot hold her head, sit, stand or walk), has Scoliosis that will one day require spinal surgery, is not able to fee orally (she has a feeding tube), cannot speak, and she suffers from various other health issues. Rhea is classified as being life limited and is not expected to reach the age of 19.
Early on in life Rhea had 3 major operations. At the age of just 2 years, Rhea had a major brain operation called a Hemispherectomy to disconnect half of her brain to try and help the seizures. So in theory Rhea now only has half a brain. This surgery led to her also developing a life threatening condition knows as Hydrocephalus, so Rhea had further brain surgery when she was 3 to insert a shunt to drain extra fluid from the brain to her abdomen. Her third surgery was to insert a feeding tube and a Nissen Fundoplication was also performed at this stage to ease RheaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s severe Reflux.
Despite her brain surgery Rhea still suffers from very bad Epilepsy and has numerous seizures every day. She is a very poorly little girl, but is the most important person in my life, and touches the hearts of many who meet her. She is a very special little girl indeed.