Blu was something of an unexpected Christmas present. Not due until February, he arrived two months early in late December. However, the birth went fine and Blu seemed a healthy baby boy.
It was only as the weeks went by that his parents noticed that he wasn’t like the other babies.
“His hands were always little fists. He just seemed angry and uncomfortable all the time,” says mum Laura.
Her anxiety was put down to being a new mum with a “prem” baby. After 11 months and at the end of her tether, Laura saw a consultant. Two hours of tests confirmed that Blu had cerebral palsy and that he would probably never walk or talk.
I was dazed, but I remember thinking that this couldn’t possibly be his future. This was not going to happen to him.
Shock turned to resolve. Laura gave up work to care for her son and it was at a playgroup that a mum told them about the Bobath Centre. She set about getting a referral.
From the moment we arrived we knew we were in the right place. For a start we had two therapists; Xanthe, a physio and Athena, an occupational therapist, and they included me in the therapy. I was listened to and could ask as many questions as I wanted without feeling silly. To them Blu was a blank canvas and they kept an open mind about what he could or couldn’t do.
Before his first visit, Blu’s problem with drooling meant that he could get through five T-shirts a day. Laura and Damien found it made feeding difficult.
We tried everything – patches that made his neck swell up, pills which made his mouth dry and injections straight into his mouth, which he hated. Athena told us the problem wasn’t so much his mouth, but in the inactive muscles below in his neck and trunk. We worked on this and at the end of two weeks he was a different boy. He stopped drooling and could even drink from a cup. You don’t know how much difference this made to his life and mine!
During a recent visit Xanthe worked on Blu’s co-ordination and sustaining muscle activity in his trunk and pelvis. This means he can sit more comfortably and move from one position to another easier. He is also able to stand on his own for short periods and mum says his limbs aren’t as tight as before.
Blu is now a bright three-year-old with a cool haircut and bags of energy. He goes to mainstream nursery with kids his own age, loves music and sings along to Olly Murs in the bath every night. He is keeping his fingers crossed for that electric guitar he has wished for from Santa.
As Christmas approaches, Laura and her family will be celebrating how far Blu has come since his first visit. And Laura’s wish?
My wish is for Blu to remain as happy and healthy as he is now – and if I’m being greedy, even more Bobath therapy for him!