Rachel Harry became brain damaged during labour, and now she has learned to walk and talk again by mimicking her little daughter, Mirror reports. In an amazing reversal of roles, Rachel’s daughter, Freya, became the former hairdresser’s motivator and teacher.
33-year-old Rachel was initially given just two hours to live after her heart stopped while giving birth to her daughter in July 2012; but after a week in a coma doctors said she would never walk, talk, eat or even sit up independently. However, little Freya’s mum has managed all these life skills simply by imitating her inspirational child.
When her daughter, Freya, took her first steps, a determined Rachel reportedly attempted walking and when the child sang her first nursery rhymes, Rachel gradually joined in. Rachel’s mum, 56-year-old Karan Harry of Wrexham is happy her daughter is getting inspired to recover from her granddaughter, she says,
“With Freya as her guide, Rachel has defied the odds. Freya brought Rachel back from the brink of death by giving her the will to fight. Now she is teaching her to walk, talk and eat again.”
After birth complications which left her in a coma, Rachel spent several months in hospital and her only hope of release was to go into care. But Karan wanted her daughter home to nurture and raise her granddaughter she said,
“I couldn’t let this happen. Every time Rachel looked at Freya she smiled and I wouldn’t let them be separated. Rachel’s dad Paul was amazing. He put all his energy into raising funds for the best physiotherapy and the cost of adapting my home.
“And eventually Rachel came home in June 2013. By then Freya was 11 months old, crawling, sitting up and playing.
“Rachel would watch how her baby managed to sit up, feed herself, stand up and walk. And she copied Freya.
“We were told Rachel would never speak normally again. Therapists said there was nothing they could work with.
“But Freya and I would sit with Rachel and read children’s books. At first, Rachel would just smile and listen.
“But watching Freya turn the pages, Rachel learned to turn the page herself. Then she started finishing sentences.
“With nursery rhymes. Freya would sing the first part of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, then Rachel would finish it off!
“Freya drives Rachel to get better and without her she would never have ¬recovered as much as she has done
“When Rachel first came home Freya could already sit up by herself and crawl.
“Rachel, however, had to sit with pillows around her to keep her upright. She was always so desperate to touch Freya and would try to lean forward to reach her until eventually she could sit up all by herself.
“Then when Freya started to take her first steps, Rachel soon followed. I think she was desperate to keep up with Freya.
“Now she can use a walking frame to get about – amazing considering doctors thought she’d be wheelchair bound.”
Little teacher Freya also re-taught her mum to feed herself. Karan explained how,
“Rachel would watch Freya eat with her hands. One day she copied her and reached out and picked up a chip.
“We were told she had no motor skills and would never pick up anything with her fingers. But she proved them wrong.
“We’re now teaching both Freya and Rachel to eat with a fork. Rachel will never be able to do anything completely unaided, but she’s made such huge progress.”
Recovering Rachel and her baby girl live with Karan and her 52-year-old partner Roger. They also enjoy a big support network which includes Rachel’s sister, Emma. Karan says,
“Freya lives with me, but I have a big support network and Rachel’s sister Emma has been amazing.”
Rachel had chosen her daughter’s name while in a coma. Karan explained how,
“The nurses had called her Little Lady and scrawled it on her wrist band. But we had to name her so we could register the birth.
“We knew Rachel had shortlisted Layla, Cerys and Freya. So Emma and I sat beside Rachel.
“I said ‘Squeeze my hand for the right name’. For Layla and Cerys, nothing.
“Then, as I said Freya, a tiny, gentle squeeze came. I welled up with tears. At three days old, we placed Freya on her mummy’s chest for the first time.
“Rachel let out a contented sigh and it gave us all hope.”
Karan continued saying,
“We all lost something the day Freya was born. But we gained Freya. She gives us the strength to carry on.
“She’s our Little Lady with the biggest heart. Even just last night, Rachel had another breakthrough all thanks to Freya.
“The physio wanted Rachel to lie on her tummy five minutes a day to strengthen her pelvis muscles. Rachel didn’t want to.
“Then Freya said ‘Come on Mummy, you can do it!’ and got down on the floor with her. They were both on their tummies, laughing. It was wonderful.”