Raising funds to help support her friend's two-year-old daughter, who needs 24-hour care after suffering a catastrophic brain injury during birth, Hitchin's Alex Mirams is preparing to swim 50km.

Isabella Amico unexpectedly suffered a catastrophic brain injury during birth and has severe complex health needs as a result. She has cerebral palsy, cannot sit or stand unaided, and is tube-fed.

The Comet: Isabella needs 24-hour care.Isabella needs 24-hour care. (Image: Courtesy of Alex Mirams)

Isabella's mum, Joanna, explained: "Isabella requires round the clock care and therapist input to help her reach her potential.

"The early years are most vital as the brain creates new pathways, so regular input from specially trained physios, occupational therapists and speech therapists is crucial.

"However, this all comes at a cost to do privately to ensure she gets the frequency she needs to develop where she can. Intensive blocks of therapy sessions are where we see the most gains, however these can be anything from £500 to £1,500 a week."


Alex added: "Isabella loves nothing more than attention, cuddles, music and stories. She may be non-verbal, but she can absolutely communicate her feelings, and watching her engage with toys and people around her is something her parents - my good friends Jo and Andy - never thought they would experience.

"The NHS have been as supportive as they can be, however one physio session every six weeks is nowhere near the amount of specialist input she needs to prevent her muscles and abilities regressing.

The Comet: Isabella suffered a catastrophic brain injury during birth.Isabella suffered a catastrophic brain injury during birth. (Image: Courtesy of Alex Mirams)

"NAPA - the world-leading therapy centre for cerebral palsy, based in America - have recently announced they are opening in London. A three-week intensive course will cost £5,250."


Alex, who lives in Bearton Road, will be attempting to swim 50km - 2,000 lengths of a 25-metre swimming pool - during the week beginning June 5 to help pay for this treatment.

The Comet: Isabella with her parents Andy and JoIsabella with her parents Andy and Jo (Image: Courtesy of Alex Mirams)

She said: "I hope to raise as much money as possible to help Isabella's parents fund therapies, equipment and adaptations to their home. That means I'll be in the pool for two to three hours a day for seven days, slogging out an average of 285 lengths a day."

To sponsor Alex, who will be completing most of the swimming challenge in Hitchin Outdoor Pool, visit gofundme.com/f/50k-swim-for-isabella-amico.