A young girl from the U.K. has surprised her doctors by learning to walk and talk after she suffered a stroke in utero, the Daily Mail reported.
Sharon McLaughlin didn’t know her unborn baby had the stroke until after Caitlin was born – and doctors told her the child suffered severe brain damage and would never walk, talk or see.
But now 3-year-old Caitlin is making incredible progress, her parents told the newspaper.
During an emergency cesarean section, McLaughlin was told Caitlin’s heart rate was dropping and the baby needed two blood transfusions. At just 6 hours old, Caitlin suffered several seizures.
“Her seizures were really bad,” McLaughlin told the Daily Mail. “They couldn’t control them at first, and by the time Shaun and I got back to the intensive care unit, they had given her a breathing tube.”
Finally, an MRI revealed the brain damage caused by the stroke. Doctors did not know the reason the stroke occurred, but determined that blood had accumulated in the brain during pregnancy.
“[Dr.] Edwards told us that if an adult had suffered a stroke like that, they would’ve died,” McLaughlin said.
Caitlin was treated with epilepsy drugs and placed on a ventilator. Doctors predicted she would never be able to perform many basic, yet necessary, functions. But Caitlin surprised everyone at 7 months old when she giggled for the first time.
Soon Caitlin started speaking and despite also being born with cerebral palsy, she started pulling herself up on her legs at two and a half years old.
Although she still struggles with her eyesight and suffers from frequent seizures, Caitlin is living just like any other toddler and is making more and more progress each day.
“The doctors call her their miracle baby because they never believed she would do the things she is doing,” McLaughlin said.