SPECIAL NEED: Two year-old Indie Fitzgerald has cerebral palsy and needs a special suit to teach her muscles to move properly. She is pictured at home with mum, Bec Lawford.
SPECIAL NEED: Two year-old Indie Fitzgerald has cerebral palsy and needs a special suit to teach her muscles to move properly. She is pictured at home with mum, Bec Lawford. Iain Curry

Little Indie could use a hand to get moving again

INDIE Fitzgerald was just like any other toddler, crawling and talking in her own little way.

But since hip surgery in November last year, the two-year-old has shut down.

It's heartbreaking for her parents, Dean Fitzgerald and Bec Lawford of Sippy Downs, who are doing all they can to bring their little girl back, seeking the help of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech therapists.

"It's been six months since her surgery and she isn't crawling. There's been lots of therapy to try and get her going again," Ms Lawford said.

"It's been pretty tough especially with her going backwards. She was crawling around the house and saying mummy and daddy.

"Since the surgery she's just stopped doing that. It's been sad to see, but she's still a happy girl though.

"Now we're expecting another baby in November, we hope she can be crawling a bit more by then."

While Indie was first diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip and joint hyper-mobility, she was later also diagnosed with hypotonic cerebral palsy.

"When she was about one, we knew something wasn't quite right with her leg. She wasn't developing as normal as she should have been," Ms Lawford said.

"It took us nearly eight months to get her diagnoses to say it was cerebral palsy," she said.

Mr Fitzgerald and Ms Lawford are raising money for a dynamic movement orthotic suit, which puts increased pressure on certain muscle groups, leading to better awareness of certain parts of the body.

"She will have to wear it all day," Ms Lawford said.

"The physio said it will last about 12 months and thinking it will be a long-term thing for her, she does need a lot of support. She's so floppy and can't sit up by herself."

The suit costs thousands of dollars, a financial burden the family is unable to carry with mounting medical bills.

Family friend and Olympic boxer Paul Fleming, also from Sippy Downs, is pitching in to help with fundraising and is running a raffle.

For more information and to help with their fundraising efforts, visit the Facebook page Indie's Little Legs.


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