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A three-year-old girl has managed to defy all odds after suffering a severe stroke, having spent five months in hospital recovering during lockdown - unable to see her twin sister and older brother.
Little Caitlin Parle, from Wexford in Ireland, had a stroke in April last year and was rushed to hospital, where she spent three weeks in a coma.
Caitlin required extensive surgery and had to have her large intestine, appendix and part of her small intestine removed.
After finally making it out of hospital last August, Caitlin - who turns four next month - now faces years of treatment to help her recovery.
Mum Gemma told LADbible: "It all started on 4 April. Caitlin had gone to bed the previous night as normal, with her brother and sister.
"I found her on the Saturday morning and she was completely unresponsive. At that stage, I didn't realise Caitlin was having seizures.
"So we rushed her to Wexford General Hospital, where they spent the day working on her and they did a CT scan and found a bleed on the brain."
Caitlin was then taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Temple Street Hospital, but doctors were still unable to control her seizures.
Gemma continued: "They had to put her into a deeper coma to try stop them.
"And Caitlin spent three weeks in that coma. During that time her large intestine died.
"Unfortunately, her appendix and part of her small intestine had to be removed as well, and during that surgery we got a phone call halfway through to say she was very delicate and needed a lot of support. They didn't know what had happened.
"But thankfully she pulled through, and she was critical for 48 hours after that again.
"She eventually woke up, but she wasn't able to move. She wasn't talking.
"And it took over five months at the hospital - she had OT [occupational therapy], speech therapy, she had a play specialist, you name it."
Throughout the five months, due to the coronavirus pandemic Caitlin sadly wasn't able to have any visitors other than her mum and dad - who could only spend time with her one at a time, even when it looked like she wouldn't make it through the night.
Her twin sister, Abby, and their brother, Jack, had to stay at home.
"For the first three weeks we were too scared to leave her because she was so critical," Gemma explained.
"One of us would have to leave her while the other one would go in. That was nearly the worst. It felt like we're being robbed of time with her."
It wasn't until August that Caitlin was able to go home to be with her family, and now has two long years of rehabilitation ahead of her.
"Caitlin has epilepsy as a result, and she is walking but needs regular rest," Gemma said.
"She's getting one or two words back again, but needs a lot of support.
"She's come so far she's absolutely amazing."
The proud mum added: "Throughout it all, she fought. She's so strong-minded and determined."
Now Caitlin's parents are working to get her whatever treatments, therapies and equipment that may help her recovery - all of which are particularly crucial at a time when community support has been pushed back due to the pandemic.
Her family have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help fund the long road ahead as Caitlin re-learns to walk and talk, having already managed to raise more than €25,000(£22,153/$30,407) of their €100,000 (£88,580/$121,631) goal.
"We have had so much support and help," Gemma said.
"It's been absolutely phenomenal. We've been very lucky to have some wonderful people around us."
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