After years of fixing her daughter's medical condition, Catherine, a Scottish mother, loses hope and takes her own life. However, a grieving dad strived for their miracle, proving the prognosis wrong.
When Arabella Green was born six years ago, her Scottish parents realized that their daughter was different. She was diagnosed with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenital.
This condition is rare and makes it impossible for patients to walk due to the stiffness in joints that causes them to maintain a bent or straight position.
Arabella Green on her wheel chair smiling [left] Arabella Green and her dad, William smiling in a selfie [right]. | Photo: facebook.com/PrincessEllaAMC
Once Arabella arrived, more than 15 doctors surrounded her from the special baby care unit as they tried to confirm the diagnosis. At first, they assumed it was deformed limbs but later determined the condition.
The little girl used a wheelchair she hated and had to undergo tests and surgeries. Like Arabella, her mother, Catherine struggled to accept it as fate. She tried to find a solution but did not live long enough to witness any change.
CATHERINE'S WILLINGNESS TO FIGHT WAS SHORT-TERM
Catherine was hands-on in caring for her child. Like any hopeful mother, she scheduled meetings with medical experts to figure out how Arabella could walk.
Catherine contacted an Arthrogryposis specialist surgeon, Dr. David Feldman, in the US. She flew with her child to his European clinic in Poland for consultation.
That was where they raised her hopes. They mentioned that her little princess could possess some leg movements through surgery and rehab.
Sadly, upon her return to Scotland, she met with NHS Lothian doctors who explained that the surgery was not suitable for her then-five-year-old, adding that Catherine should think about a future with her daughter in a wheelchair.
Two months later, in March 2021, Arabella's mother took her life after the negative news. This was a big blow to the family, who found coping without the deceased challenging.
William, Arabella's dad, retired from his job as an electrician to attend to his daughter full-time. His daughter was devastated but believed that her mom had never died. According to William:
"She thinks her mom is with her going to help her walk. We were at the cinema last night, and she saved a seat thinking her mom is there."
WILLIAM SWORE NEVER TO GIVE UP ON THEIR DAUGHTER
Following Catherine's death and prolonged alone time with their daughter, the former electrician became determined to proceed with the surgery in Poland.
The surgery was costly, so he set up a GoFundMe page to assist with the funds. However, William refused to give up, claiming that he trusted Dr. Feldman and would continue for his child. Dr. Feldman also confirmed the probability of Arabella gaining movement, citing his credibility. In his words:
"We have many children with this condition, and I have done this surgery about 150 times now. On an individual level, I would not give up."
The American doctor was so determined to help out that he slashed about $100,000 off the surgery fee, following William's GoFundMe setup.
THE MIRACLE HAPPENED
The widowed father successfully raised funds as an anonymous couple donated $50,000, among other individuals. As soon as they landed in Poland in October 2021, the nurses assisted Arabella in building her muscles.
Then, after weeks of intensive rehab and physiotherapy, she had her first surgery in the country and walked for the first time.
She would need another one to gain proper control of her muscles. But so far, the father-of-one is proud of their achievements. According to William:
"It's been a long journey, a very long journey, but her mom is guiding her through this. The goal at the end has been so worth it."
The pair continues to inspire others by fueling each other's strengths and working towards achieving their desired goal following their first "miracle" surgery. They are scheduled for a second operation soon.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org
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