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© 2018 By Gina Twelftree. Proudly created with WIX.COM 

My Cerebral Palsy Story

So you're probably wondering what actually happened to me and why I have Cerebral Palsy or CP.I was 10 weeks early which meant that I had an undeveloped immune system and a lack of white blood cells. I was due to have a blood transfusion in order to increase my number of white blood cells, however Doctors advised my mum to take me home and return to the hospital for the blood transfusion the following day. That night I caught a throat infection called bronchitis which led to difficulty breathing, eventually stopping my breathing altogether. I went blue on my Mum's lap. Paramedics blue lighted me to a local hospital where they tried to revive me 4 times. Then I got blue lighted to Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London where a ‘Crash Team’ revived me a further 3 times and due to lack of air to the brain a part of my brain shut down.



After this event my mum noticed the difference in my development: I wasn't sitting up and doing the things that normal babies do. At this point I was 18 months old and my mum wanted me to undergo more tests, so I was observed by a specialist at Guy's and St. Thomas' where they diagnosed me with Cerebral Palsy (CP).  My mum wanted a second opinion so we contacted Great Ormond Street Hospital, however,  they responded saying they 'don't treat British babies in that department.' My mum, furious at the time, went with professional opinion.

 

I went on to live a very normal childhood due to my parents and family being very inclusive and wanting me to participate in anything I wanted to, including horse riding, playing football, travelling and going to a mainstream School.  

In the year of 2012; when I was 13 years old, I underwent extensive surgery. They opened up my spine to get access to my nerves and cut the one sending the wrong signals to my brain. This procedure is called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and at the time they only offered this procedure in the UK to younger patients. So I had to travel to St. Louis Missouri, where the procedure was initially developed and they were more equipped for older patients. The procedure left me very weak as it reduces spasticity in the muscles - a main issue for CP suffers, however, when you have CP you use your spasticity as a form of strength. Once I'd  had the surgery the spasticity was gone and I had little to no muscle to help me perform day-to-day tasks, so I underwent 5 weeks of intensive physiotherapy.

 

I was a typical teenager and didn't want to do the work that the doctor's had recommended even though they had told me that if I didn't do the work, I would end up worse than I started out. A few months later we had the London Olympic Games in 2012 and I was lucky enough to watch the swimming, this was when I realised that was what I wanted to do. In the next 3 years I was swimming and competing at national level and was hopeful to get into the 2020 Paralympic team.

Unfortunately due to funding cuts and problems in the team I chose to stop swimming competitively and pursue a bodybuilder lifestyle as I'd began to enjoy weightlifting and going to the gym.

This is when I came across YouTube and saw no one else was promoting disabilities or disabled fitness and lifestyle, so I developed the idea of NQPC Fitness. Showing people how to stay healthly and have an enjoyable, fun lifestyle while having a physical disability.

 

So that's my story, sorry it’s a bit long. Are you even still there?

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