I am Amber and I help Dad wash the car

16 Jan 2015 | Carole Powell

During a traumatic birth Amber was starved of oxygen, causing a large amount of brain damage, later diagnosed as Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy (affecting all four limbs). 

When Amber was three weeks old, her parents were told to prepare themselves learning problems, eyesight and hearing issues, lack of speech, very low use of limbs and never being able to walk. They took their beautiful girl home with no real idea of where to go or what to do next. 

Amber’s long road of rehabilitation has included intensive physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and hydrotherapy almost every day. She continues to make amazing progress in many areas. 

At two and a half, after a lot of hard fundraising, Amber was sized up for a HART walker which helps with her core strength and will hopefully one day teach her to walk. Facilitated by ALCMF, $11,500 was raised by the Lions Club of Latrobe and the Latrobe Fire Brigade to purchase the walker and as her mother Rachael says, “she hasn’t looked back. We feel this has helped with her developing strength in her legs.

Amber's Hart Walker is used in conjunction with her learning at school five days a week. Our little miss is very determined to walk. We do indeed know that she won't ever walk on her own, but with the help of the Hart Walker she can do it on her own – so to speak."  Amber has had the Hart Walker since November 2011 and enjoys being in it every time.

Now at full time mainstream school, Amber still can’t speak, but is very determined to keep trying. She can’t sit unsupported, feed herself or do many of the tasks you would expect but she is a very happy and intelligent young girl.

Rachael says, "times have been tough emotionally, but her determination to always try and achieve the smallest things is truly inspirational and she brings us a lot of joy." 

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