A CHRISTMAS wish has come true for a courageous little girl doctors call ‘the smiler’.
Twenty-two-month-old Rosalie Rice-Stephens can’t walk or crawl because she has spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and talipes in both feet.
She has just received a special wheelchair, thanks to big-hearted World readers, The local community rallied around to our appeal and raised enough to make her dream come true and for a ramp to be fitted outside her Ditton home.
Her dad, Lee, aged 27, of Francis Close, said: “She is absolutely loving it.
“It’s like watching your kid take their first steps, watching her manoeuvre this wheelchair.
“She is really excited as she can now play with her sisters and brother.
“It’s just amazing.”
Rosalie’s parents, Lee and Andrea, aged 26, want to thank readers for their donations and everyone who supported their coffee afternoon in The Blundell Arms pub.
Lee, who gave up his job as an account executive at 02 in Preston Brook, Runcorn, to help look after Rosalie, said: “We want to say a big thank you to everyone. Without help from The World, we would never have been able to buy this wheelchair.
“It has given her a new lease of life.”
Being able to move around on her own, he said, has given Rosalie much more independence and confidence.
He said: “It’s simple little things like the ability to put her own juice down on the table and pick it up for herself.
“She is made up.”
Rosalie is thrilled to be able to play with her three-year-old brother, Samuel, and sisters, Gracie, aged seven, and Antonia, aged five.
She has had surgery three times on a shunt in her back and currently has both feet in plaster to treat her club feet.
Her mum, Andrea, said: “She is a star, a proper little fighter, with everything she has been through.
“They call her the smiler when she goes into hospital. She doesn’t cry and melts everyone’s heart.”
Andrea now hopes to set up a support group for parents of children with spina bifida.