Rebecca’s pregnancy had been difficult, and due to excess fluid around the fetus, the doctors decided to induce labor early.
Nobody had a clue that there was something wrong with little Matilda until about half an hour after she was born.
When she came into the world, she had a big blue mark on her face that stretched down one side of the body. At first doctors thought it was just a bruise – then they realized their huge mistake.
Just 30 minutes later, the doctors told the parents that it was a birthmark.
Two weeks later, Matilda was diagnosed with Sturge Weber’s syndrome, a very rare neurological skin disease which also causes paralysis, learning difficulties and seizures.
Matilda quickly became so ill that she was taken to the Adler Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England.
In just a few days, the parents’ happiness had turned into extreme concern. They didn’t know if they would see their daughter alive again.
On top of everything else, they learned that Matilda had two holes in her heart. But she was a real little fighter, and although there was a high chance that she wouldn’t survive, she managed to make it through surgery.
Now Matilda has begun laser treatment to remove her unusual birthmark. But it could take up to 16 years before it’s gone completely.
“She has treatment every couple of months, and the laser does make it look more red and angry, and her face is covered with blobs afterwards, which then gradually fade away again,” Matilda’s dad Paul tells The Daily Mail, and continues:
“People think we are bad parents – that we have somehow caused Matilda to look like she does.”
Despite regular painful laser treatments, Matilda is a really happy little girl.
But there are many people who stare at Matilda and her birth mark. People have even asked Paul and Rebecca if they left their daughter too close to a radiator and let her get burned.
Besides the birth mark on her face, the disease has also caused Matilda to become almost blind.
She also can’t walk, but thanks to a special walking frame, she’s been able to take a few steps herself.
Matilda’s whole life has been a fight, but despite that she has a smile for everyone she meets. Her dad says she’s a headstrong little girl: It’s either her way or no way at all!
The family has started a GoFundMe page for Matilda to raise money for a new wheelchair.
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