Mom of two-year-old with dementia opens up about the agony of slowly 'losing' her toddler
A mother from West Lothian, Scotland is opening up about the tragic ordeal she has been forced to endure since her now-two-year-old daughter first started developing dementia from the age of one, the Mirror reports.
The condition - which usually only affects the elderly - has already taken its toll on two-year-old Mirryn, her mother Vicky Cunningham says.
According to the 34-year-old, Mirryn is unable to stand without assistance and has little choice but to lay down for most of the day as a result of "half her brain" being "eaten away by a chromosome disorder".
The toddler was diagnosed with a very rare condition known as CLN1 Battens. The illness attacks the sufferer's nervous system and causes a decline in their vision, mobility and their ability to think.
Mirryn was a premature newborn, arriving into the world at just 31 weeks and two days and weighing a worrying 3lb 2oz.
Following her premature birth, Mirryn stayed in a special care unit for the next two months and was treated for jaundice.
After the two-month stay, however, it then appeared that baby Mirryn had recovered extraordinarily well and that she would grow to be a healthy child.
"She was developing normally. She would gurgle and smile. She was really lovely and had a cheeky personality developing," her mother said.
Unfortunately, the plain-sailing phase in Mirryn's development didn't last long.
When her baby was about 10 months old, Cunningham started spotting some worrying signs.
"She was no longer gripping properly," the 34-year-old recalls. "She seemed to be weakening in general and I just instinctively knew something was not right."
Following trips to the doctors', Mirryn was referred to St John’s Hospital, and after various tests, the two-year-old was diagnosed with childhood dementia in January of this year.
"It’s heartbreaking to see," Cunningham adds. "She should be starting nursery but I know it will never happen. There’s so much she will be missing."
Due to how rare the condition is, very little research has been conducted into the area and there is currently no cure.
Unfortunately, this means the mental and physical abilities of Cunningham's baby girl will only continue to decline and the heartbroken mum admits that she could lose her any day now.