By Maureen Hodges
For Alfie – one of four identical quads – has been living in his own silent world, unable to make noises or say his first words because of his severe cerebral palsy. Now that’s all about to change thanks to a revolutionary piece of equipment. And for the first time in his life Alfie will be able to talk, laugh and cry, just like his three brothers.
The youngster had a voice valve fitted this week. For parents Barrie Thomson and Becky Graham it is a huge milestone.
“He has been so frustrated at not being able to communicate with us. He heard his brothers, crying, laughing and generally making a noise, and he hasn’t been able to join in,” said Becky, 29.
Alfie’s condition means his muscles are very stiff and he needs regular physiotherapy. He has a tracheotomy tube to help him breathe and is fed through a peg into his stomach. He has no gag reflex, which means he cannot swallow or protect his airway, and needs 24-hour care.
“We are very excited about it. It will also help with his breathing. It is a real step forward,” said Becky, from Cargo, near Carlisle.
“Alfie is such a little fighter, and has come through so much,” she added.
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