Boy born with half a brain astonishes doctors by teaching himself to walk
Last updated at 7:21 PM on 13th June 2011
A twin toddler born with almost half of his brain missing has taken his first ever steps with the help of his healthy sister - and his Thomas the Tank Engine toy train.
Finley Rosbotham, two, was diagnosed with a rare form of cerebral palsy at just four-months-old after his parents noticed that he was unresponsive down one side of his body, and wasn't developing the same as his twin sister, Ellie.
Doctors performed a brain scan which revealed that a large part of the left side of Finley's brain was missing and his parents were warned he was highly unlikely to ever be able to walk or even crawl.
'Extraordinary parenting': Finley Rosbotham's parents Kelly and Ivan - and his twin sister Ellie - worked on home therapy sessions for 20 months using special exercises and his favourite toys to stimulate his brain
But parents Kelly and Ivan Rosbotham worked on home therapy sessions for 20 months using special exercises and his favourite toys to stimulate his brain.
With the help of specialist physiotherapists at the Holly House child development centre in Accrington, Lancashire, they helped build up Finley's ability to use the right side of his brain to control both sides of his body by urging him to move around and play with Ellie.
Finley slowly learned to crawl by chasing his little blue and white Thomas The Tank train around their playroom and now has taken his first steps, with amazed medics crediting 'extraordinary parenting' for his astounding progress.
Mum-of-four Kelly, 36, of Accrington, said: 'Finley adores Thomas the Tank Engine and it's really helped him that he's been able follow it about.
Early days: A scan taken of Finley at the Royal Blackburn Hospital
'Everyone was crying when we watched him take his first steps and it's just incredible how far he's come.
'If I could say to other mums in my position, never take for granted what the doctors say because anything can change and you will see the benefits of putting all your energy and efforts into it and when the doctors say "no" you can still find a way. It shows what can be achieved. I'm so happy and proud of him.
'We were told to expect the worst, understandably, but thanks to his determination and the support of Holly House, he's just progressed leaps and bounds and it's amazing to see the way he is now.'
Finley and sister Ellie were born seven minutes apart at 34 weeks on June 4, 2009 and the twins seemed to be in perfect health, but just a few months later Kelly and husband Ivan, 32, a baker, noticed that Finley had a 'rag-doll' like posture and was not smiling or as lively as his sister.
Twins: Finley was diagnosed with a rare form of cerebral palsy at just four months after his parents noticed that he wasn't developing the same as his twin sister, Ellie
Kelly said, 'I just noticed that he wasn't the same as Ellie. She was responsive, smiling, active and he was sort of in a daze, and never moved his legs. He never even tried to lift his head.
'He was like a rag doll and his arm was stiff and straight out like superman when he's flying. It was horrible so scary.'
The physical therapist was concerned that Finley had hemitaresis, a neurological condition that weakens one side of the body, and referred him for an MRI scan two weeks later, revealing the missing section of his brain.
But the parents learned that if they worked hard with Finley they could train other parts of his brain to adopt the functions of the missing sections.
'We were told to expect the worst, understandably, but thanks to his determination and the support of Holly House, he's just progressed leaps and bounds '
and Ivan set about doing exercises and games with Finley and began
taking him to Holly House where physio and occupatational therapists
used a specialised play centre to supplement their work.
His progress astounded therapists and two weeks ago, Finley finally took his first steps.
Kelly said, 'Now, he'll walk a bit if he can hold onto furniture and he's making such great progress.'
'We're going to teach him sign language because he's becoming frustrated with not being able to express himself.
'Ellie's very different to him, she's very extroverted and boisterous. She loves him to bits and we need to keep her from doing everything for him. She looks after him quite a bit, even though they're the same age.'
Pam Bland, Clinical Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said, 'Back when Finley was first diagnosed, we had to tell his parents that we didn't know how much improvement he would make, because it is often very difficult to say for certain in cases like his.
'Finley is a lovely, happy little boy who really wants to explore and play with new things. He's not quite so happy when he's having his physio, though, because I work him pretty hard! Kelly and Ivan are absolutely fantastic.
'They've taken all our advice really to heart; they buy him really creative, therapeutic toys and are incredibly dedicated to bringing on his development, but also treat him like a normal boy.
'I'm delighted that Finley is developing so well.'
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Nothing special. There are plenty around our local sink estate that can do as much.....just.
- andy, notts, 14/6/2011 08:19
If people read the medical literature they would know that there are cases where people have been born with no brain and functioned normally. This nails the materialistic assumption that consciousness arises in the brain. The materialist paradigm is about to be replaced its no longer tenable and quantum physics totally undermines it.
- Tim J, London UK, 14/6/2011 00:57
Half a brain? Why, he'll make a wonderful politician some day.
- Ethan, Farmington, 14/6/2011 00:42
Finally, a happy story! Good for him - he's so cute!
- Me, on earth, 13/6/2011 23:20
this makes you think how many babies got terminated because doctor said they dont have much of a chance. this clearly show as well as many other stories how wrong doctor's can be and people should really think twice to weather or not to terminate their baby.
- Kin, Barnet, 13/6/2011 22:52
As someone that works with special needs children, I often come across parents that want to do EVERYTHING for their child. This does a disservice to the child. By never allowing them to try, we don't get a chance to find out how much they can do. Unfortunately, most parents outlive their children and even if you are able to leave enough money for special care, no one will love your child as much as you do. Finley's parents are a wonderful example of how parents of children with special needs should be. Of course, listen to the doctors, but don't be afraid to try. The worst that can happen is that the doctor was right. The best is that you give a child self respect, self advocacy and the ability to live a good quality of life.
- kuroigirl68, San Diego, USA, 13/6/2011 22:35
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