“IT is a milestone we never thought we would see,” says Limerick woman Mary Russell, mother of four year old Taylor Rose.
Taylor, who was born with a very rare and very severe type of Spina Bifida called occipital mylengaencophecele, was not expected to live more than two hours.
But two days after the birth, Mary, from Newcastle West, brought her home and miraculously, four months later, surgeons were able to carry out the procedure they had initially felt was impossible.
Four years on, Taylor’s situation is not easy.
“She is not able to talk or walk,” explains Mary. And she has to be fed through a PEG tube. But, she is a happy little girl, Mary said.
“She loves having people around her. She loves kids,” she explained.
And to mark Taylor’s battle against the odds, Share a Dream made her, and her mother, their very special guests at the Jeff Power Memorial Tournament in Limerick recently.
This tournament, Mary explained, is held in memory of Jeff Power who died in 2010, and she had previously met the family. But it was when Share a Dream came on board that the outing became a truly special one.
Taylor, Mary and Mary’s sister Laura and nephew Padraig, were taken by limousine to Portland Park in Limerick, where Taylor was cheered and applauded as a VIP guest. Taylor also got to meet some of her favourite Disney characters, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and others who put on a special show just for her.
She was also given gifts and had her face painted.
Taylor later met the Share a Dream Team playing in the Jeff Power Tournament and led them all out onto the pitch for their match. All the team shook hands with her as well as presenting her with her own trophy.
Taylor and her family were also treated to dinner at Sinatras.
“She really loved it. She was smiling the whole day,” Mary explains. “It was really a lovely day. They made such a fuss of her. It was lovely.”
And she thanked and paid tribute to all those who had helped make it possible.