Carleigh's second chance
In the last installment of our January "new beginnings" series, dedicated to refreshed hope, new goals and new beginnings we're thrilled to tell you about one little girl who has made an amazing comeback after a shocking medical emergency.
Carleigh O’Hara has a rare condition that causes her to go through vicious cycles of seizures, but you would never know that upon first meeting the vivacious girl who so easily brings a smile to people’s faces
When she was just 17 months old, Carleigh suddenly lost her ability to walk, talk and swallow. As Carleigh struggled to breathe, her mother Lisa rushed her to BC Children’s Hospital, where the toddler was diagnosed with epilepsy, or seizure disorder, and spent a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Carleigh spent the next three months of her life at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, re-learning the skills she had so abruptly lost. Within that time though, Carleigh no longer needed a feeding tube, could hold her head up and was crawling again.
She has been seizure-free since February 2011, and even though she still has many physical and developmental delays, Carleigh doesn’t let it deter her from living the life of a typical six-year-old girl. Carleigh still lights up any room she walks into, and serves as a model that new beginnings are more than possible.
“She’s always had a smile. That’s something all the therapists at Sunny Hill would say about Carleigh,” says Lisa. “She was a joy to work with because she was happy to see them. I try to update all the therapists and send them pictures and stuff because I really felt like they cared and wanted to see the best for my child.”
And look at her now! Carleigh's busy enjoying grade one and all the responsibilities being a big sister brings. She also can't wait to meet her second sibling, who's on her way.