A dad has vowed to do everything in his power to help his little girl walk after she was diagnosed with a rare condition which limits her movement.
Arabella Green’s life was already a daily struggle after she was diagnosed with arthrogryposis as a baby, but the five-year-old’s world was further turned upside down when her mum Catherine took her own life on March 16, 2021.
Dad William, from Bathgate, West Lothian, is now determined to continue Catherine’s fight to get Arabella walking and make sure her efforts were not in vain, the Daily Record reports.
Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC) is a rare disease that affects one or more areas of the body before birth.
The joints affected become permanently fixed in a bent or straightened position and it can completely restrict movement.
Catherine was desperate for her daughter to have surgery on her legs in Poland after NHS doctors said last year that there was nothing they could do for the tot.
After researching the condition online, Catherine found an American doctor with a European medical team in Warsaw who said he could help Arabella. The young mum then travelled there with her daughter for a consultation in February 2020 and was overwhelmed with hope after being told that her child could have a chance of walking after surgery.
But just over a year later, Catherine tragically took her own life at the age of just 27.
William believes the financial stress around securing Arabella’s treatment, which will cost the family approximately £125k, and the thought of letting her daughter down all contributed to Catherine’s deteriorating mental health.
Electrician William, 35, is now desperate to raise cash to fund the operation and travel to Poland in a bid to see Catherine’s dream come true.
He said: “Catherine had been following a team called AMC kids in America and through that she found Doctor Feldman. His case studies were unbelievable.
“There were children just like Arabella is now and he had managed to help them walk.
“Catherine kept writing and writing to him, then after six months she received a reply and got a consultation in Poland.
“I paid for Catherine to take Arabella there. They did full X-rays and and he told her she could be walking 12 weeks after surgery with six weeks rehabilitation in his clinic.”
Now caring for Arabella full-time, William feels it is more important than ever to cling on to the hopes Catherine had for their child and is determined to raise the money needed to help their daughter walk.
William said: “Arabella needs as much independence as she can get. She’s not got her mum.
“She’s lost her best pal and had to move house. Her life has completely turned upside down.
“She’s even started asking me if she can swap bodies with other people because I’m breaking my back walking her to the park, just so she can feel the ground on her feet.
“I need to continue her mum’s legacy. There needs to be surgical intervention for her to have a chance at a normal life. “
Dr Tracey Gillies, Medical Director, NHS Lothian said: “In Scotland, multi-disciplinary assessments from a range of clinical professionals help determine when surgery might be indicated and what the benefits to patients might be. This process enables decisions to be made, centred on the patient. In this instance, based on the expert views of Arabella’s clinical team, it was felt that surgery would not be a suitable option for her condition at the time.
“We understand this is a very difficult time for the family and extend our sympathies to them. Although the reasons for this decision were discussed with them in depth, we would encourage them to get in touch with us directly if they have any further questions or concerns. Arabella’s condition remains under review and she continues to receive ongoing care from a range of professionals.”
The fundraising page can be viewed here.