Why my baby daughter's an absolute joy

PUBLISHED: 13:16 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

Vicki Rhodes with her daughter Brook

Vicki Rhodes with her daughter Brook

A MOTHER is appealing for help to raise money for a children s charity after her daughter was diagnosed with a rare condition. Vicki Rhodes, of Coventry Close, Stevenage, is looking to companies and organisations for help with a charity event she is plan

A MOTHER is appealing for help to raise money for a children's charity after her daughter was diagnosed with a rare condition.

Vicki Rhodes, of Coventry Close, Stevenage, is looking to companies and organisations for help with a charity event she is planning and the donation of prizes.

She decided to raise money for the NCH children's charity after her daughter Brook, 13 months old, was diagnosed with West's Syndrome and microcephaly in December.

Miss Rhodes said: "When she was born, apart from being early by five weeks, everything seemed fine.

"She smiled by eight weeks as babies are meant to and all seemed fine.

"Then at around four months old, she changed, she didn't smile any more and looked really sad all the time. Then at around six months I noticed she wasn't doing the things babies her age should do."

Brook was diagnosed with West's Syndrome, a rare condition which attacks the entire brain.

Brook's mum said: "The condition is not curable and is quite debilitating, for example Brook is 13 months old, but as yet she cannot sit, stand, walk, or talk any words, even things like mum or dad."

She also has microcephaly which causes delays in development.

Miss Rhodes said: "Now she is having treatment it's like having a new baby, she now can smile again, she knows what she thinks is funny, and can laugh at it, she is now holding toys and can put them in her mouth.

"When your child learns something new it's always a cause for joy, but when Brook does it, it makes me feel something I can't put into words, every time she does something new, for her it's a massive achievement.

"She can be very demanding so there are times when I don't eat until late as she needs attention, her sleep patterns are erratic to say the least, and it's common for West's children to be hyperactive.

"Despite all the times that are hard or difficult Brook is an absolute joy to have around and I would never be without her, she is an asset to my life and I can't imagine it without her.

"This is why I have decided to raise money for the NCH by organising the charity event. It has opened my eyes to how invaluable support for disabled children and their families is, and anything I can do to help is important to me."

n The event is being held on October 20 at The Corus Hotel in Stevenage. If you would like to get involved call Vicki on 07709853273.

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