When she was born, Amy Parr was completely paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors were not optimistic about her future. Some said that she would not make it beyond her first birthday, and if she did, Amy would be paralyzed.
Amy was born with an extremely rare condition known as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP). When she received the diagnosis, doctors told the family that only four other children were known worldwide who had been born with the condition. The disease involves the inflammation of the nerve roots and peripheral nerves, resulting in the destruction of the protective myelin sheath. Symptoms include slurred speech, uncoordinated movement, loss of feeling in arms and legs, abnormal sensations, and problems with breathing. To learn more about this mysterious condition, click here.
Before she was sent home from the hospital after weeks of testing, doctors told her mother Sam that catching a cold would be enough to kill her, because she was not strong enough. However, not long after arriving home, Sam noticed a twitch of movement in the baby’s leg. Incredibly, her movements began to normalize, and at six months Amy was able to sit up on her own. It was Christmas day on 2013 when the young girl took her first steps in order to grab a chocolate from her grandfather.
The holiday means that much more to the Parr family as the anniversary of Amy’s first steps, a girl that doctors said would be paralyzed for life if she was lucky. Amy is now 8 years old, and has developed a passion for dancing and the performing arts. She also loves singing and is active at a stage school on Saturdays. Sam and Darren, Amy’s father, never expected to see Amy performing or dancing.
Amazingly, their youngest daughter Mia, now two years old, also has CIDP. Like Amy, Mia was able to eventually gain normal mobility, and actually recovered more rapidly from her symptoms than Amy did. The odds of both daughters having the condition were extremely small according to doctors, who told the family that they were making medical history. Read the full story in the Watford Observer.