A young girl who had a tumour the size of a tennis ball removed from her brain has revealed her amazing recovery.
Indigo McGregor, eight, went blind and had to use a wheelchair because she could not walk properly.
Now she has her life back thanks to the skill of medical staff at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London.
The youngster, from south London, had surgery, followed by three years of follow-up treatment including physiotherapy and further eye operations.
Now she see again as well as run, dance and even do cartwheels – and doing all the things a healthy child normally does.
Indigo and her parents, Kirsty, 41, and Robbie, 45, will be saying a special thank you to the team of nurses and doctors who nursed her back to health by taking part in the London Santa Dash on Clapham Common on Sunday to show their appreciation for the team at GOSH.
Indigo McGregor had a poor prognosis but she can now even ski and do gymnastics after life-saving surgery and physiotherapy
The girl, now eight, had deteriorated as the tumour pressed against her brain stem
From left to right, mother Kirsty, 41, Ned, 14, Indigo, Joss, 11 and father Robbie, 45
Civil servant Kirsty told The Evening Standard: ‘We feel like we’ve won the lottery. Her prognosis was so poor but she can even ski and do gymnastics — we had no idea that we would get this far.
‘She was like a baby again after surgery and couldn’t even turn her head. But Indigo is so tenacious, her young brain has bypassed the damage by creating new pathways.
‘It may take her longer [to do things] but children don’t mind failing. She even does cartwheels in our front room.’
Indigo can now see and walk again after a life-saving 10-year operation
The youngster also had three years of physiotherapy and further eye operations
Indigo and her parents are taking part in the London Santa Dash on Sunday
ONE OF THE WORLD’S BEST CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS
In 1852, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) opened with just 10 beds, and was the first hospital in the UK to offer dedicated inpatient care to children.
The hospital was the first of its kind to recognise that children had specific medical needs, separate from adults, that required a tailored approach.
Through 160 years of innovation and dedication, Great Ormond Street Hospital has remained at the forefront of paediatric medicine.
In 1962, the hospital pioneered the first heart and lung bypass machine for children, revolutionising heart surgery.
In 1967, GOSH led the first UK clinical trials of the rubella vaccine. Three years later, in 1970, the UK-wide immunisation of girls and childbearing adult females was rolled out.
In 2000, it launched the world’s first gene therapy trials for children born without functioning immune systems. By 2011, gene therapy had cured 14 children with previously fatal forms of severe combined immunodeficiency.
In 2001, a radical technique was introduced to replace faulty heart valves in children without the need for open heart surgery.
She is a ‘miracle’
Kirsty and Robbie were terrified as they watched their daughter deteriorate as the tumour was pressing against her brain stem.
At the time the family were living in Sri Lanka, and faced a race against time to save her.
Surgeons at GOSH – considered one of the top five best children’s hospitals in the world – agreed to operate on Indigo, then five.
Her parents were warned that the surgery could kill their beloved daughter.
They took a 20-hour flight back from Sri Lanka where they were living for the operation which took more than 10 hours.
When Indigo, came round her parents’ were devastated that she was completely blind.
However, she gradually regained her sight but was left with an extreme squint which caused her double vision.
Her parents feared that she would never recover her sight fully or be as active as her school friends.
Doctors carried out further surgery and at Christmas last year Indigo saw an improvement with her eyes.
In January, at a check up doctors confirmed that her squint was correcting itself.
Kirsty added: ‘We’re so lucky to have the NHS and Great Ormond Street. Indigo really is an absolute miracle.’