A COUNTY Antrim couple whose daughter’s debilitating medical condition has baffled doctors across Northern Ireland are planning to send her to world specialists in London in the hope she can finally be diagnosed.
Little Aaliyah Cochrane is unable to walk or communicate and despite dozens of consultations with doctors across the province parents Aaron and Kim have yet to be given a reason why.
The four-year-old has lacked motor-neurone functions since birth and requires round-the-clock attention.
She has undergone numerous medical assessments - including MRI scans - but as yet the cause of her condition remains a mystery.
Aaron said a diagnosis would enable doctors to finally begin focusing on delivering the specific care required for the cause of Aaliyah’s condition.
And he hopes experts at the world-renowned children’s hospital Great Ormond Street in London can help.
“Since birth Aaliyah has had a lot of development problems,” Aaron said.
“But despite everything they have tried they can’t get a diagnosis.
“Two MRI scans have come back clear.
“We have exhausted everything as have the medical professionals.
“Aaliyah can’t walk, she has no motor skills, she can’t really do anything herself.
“She has no communication ability whatsoever or co-ordination.
“She had quite a traumatic birth and we were aware of the problems early on but the doctors thought she would improve as she got older.
“But progress has been very, very slow.”
Aaliyah attends a physiotherapy session every week as well as regular speech and occupational therapist appointments.
Kim is a full-time carer to her daughter as well as looking after the Ballymoney couple’s other daughter, Mia (2).
Aaron said a diagnosis could be life-changing for the whole family.
“We are trying to raise enough money to take Aaliyah to Great Ormond Street as we don’t know how long we will be there and what they will want to do,” he said.
“Ma Kellys in Ballymoney has offered to run a couple of nights as fundraisers to take Aaliyah to London.
“They are holding a poker night on March 1 and then a country night at some point which we really appreciate.
“I always think it’s a good sign when things come back clear but in the end you want to know what you are dealing with so you can move forward.”
Kim added: “We want to thank everyone who has been so supportive to date with Aaliyah.
“Our friends and family have been there for us throughout.
“Also a massive thanks to Liz Lamont at Ma Kellys for offering to hold the poker night and Jimmy Morrison who is organising it.
“It should be a great evening of entertainment.”
To find out more about the night at Ma Kellys, Church Street, Ballymoney contact Liz on 028 2766 4477.
REPORT: CHRIS KILPATRICK