09:36AM, Thursday 10 May 2018
Natalia, four, with her brother Nicolas, 20 months, and mum, Malgorzata.
A young girl is desperate for life-changing therapy that could enable her to walk and talk.
Four-year-old Natalia Nowacka, of Cookham, suffers from deletion chromosome 22 Phelan syndrome, a rare condition which severely affects her motor skills.
But after she underwent successful therapy in Poland, her mother, with the help of charity Just4Children, is trying to raise money to pay for more.
Malgorzata Nowacka said: “I think the therapy in Poland would change her life, that will make a huge improvement; she will be much better. I know that because I have seen what she's done with just two weeks of therapy.”
Natalia has not been able to walk all of her life, but after receiving two weeks of therapy in Poland, she is now taking her first steps.
Malgorzata said: “Now I know she can do it and she has been very happy over there.
“She wanted to walk, it was amazing, and now we have the spirit to get more.”
There was no guarantee that the intensive therapy would help – many children with the condition do not respond to it at all.
Natalia, though, responded immediately to the treatment, which her mother believes is down to her daughter’s bravery and determination.
She said: “In her case you see the improvements, they’re amazing. She has huge determination, you can see the progress she is making.
“Natalia is very happy, she is much different now because she can walk. She is a really beautiful and happy girl.”
Although she has made big im-provements in her walking, Natalia’s speech is still very limited.
The therapy sessions in Poland includes speech and language therapy, and, although she has yet to show big improvements, Malgorzata has not given up on trying.
Natalia gets support at her school, Manor Green School in Cox Green, but requires more
intense therapy to make improvements.
Her family, who have lived in the UK for 17 years, want to try and raise enough money to take her for therapy in Poland three times a year.
Treatment there is cheaper than in the UK but one two-week session still costs about £1,500.
Malgorzata said: “That’s why we need help. I can save the money for one round of therapy but not for three.
“At the moment it’s looking like hard going but we have to make a start somewhere.”
Visit https://just4children.org/children-helped2018/natalias-golden-heart/ for more information.
Top Ten Articles