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Mum left brain damaged after giving birth to her baby girl takes first steps

Rachel Harry, 39, suffered a heart attack during the birth of her daughter Freya in 2012 after an undetected blood clot led to hypoxic brain injury. She has now been able to take her first steps

Rachel Harry with her daughter, Freya

A mum who became wheelchair-bound after being left brain damaged while giving birth to her baby girl has taken her first steps in nearly a decade.

Rachel Harry, 39, suffered a heart attack during the birth of her daughter Freya in 2012 after an undetected blood clot led to hypoxic brain injury.

Doctors told her devastated family that the first-time mum would be unlikely to walk again, be able to sit up or feed herself.

But Rachel has battled back against the odds and has taken her first steps unaided thanks to nine-year-old Freya’s encouragement to do exercise during the coronavirus lockdown.

Heartwarming footage captured the moment Rachel was able to walk by herself outside the family’s home in Llywn Onn, Wrexham, North Wales.



Rachel Harry has taken her first steps in nearly a decade
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Image:

Rachel Harry / SWNS)






Rachel and Freya colouring together at home
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Rachel Harry / SWNS)




Rachel had been undergoing intensive physiotherapy to learn to walk again as well as speech therapy in order to communicate.

But after the Covid pandemic stalled the progress, inspirational Freya continued to help her mum during the subsequent lockdowns.

Rachel’s mum Karan, 62, said: “It’s been really hard for us during the pandemic.

“We didn’t have as many care hours. It’s like everything else, there has been limited contact and care. So, we have been doing a lot of it at home.

“There was a long time with no therapies, where we were just trying to keep Rachel safe.



The mum in hospital after giving birth to her daughter
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Image:

Rachel Harry / SWNS)




“It has been tough. But we’ve managed to do quite a bit to keep her moving. And Freya has done a lot. She wasn’t in school as much during the first lockdown, so she was spurring her mummy on.

“She was encouraging her mummy to move and to walk, and she was able to do a lot more with her.”

She added: “They did a lot in the kitchen, more than she’s ever done. I think it helped Rachel. The positive side of lockdown was her special time with Freya.

“I think it’s helped her cognitive development and also we’ve seen her general interest in life come on leaps and bounds.



The mum during her physiotherapy
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Image:

Rachel Harry / SWNS)




“We’ve seen improvements in her mobility, the cognitive side, and her communication with Freya has gone to another level. And it let Rachel be more of a mum as Freya has been here more.

“It’s about getting the balance with Freya. To let her play normally with her friends but also to spend time with her mum.

“It’s not fair for Freya to just be Rachel’s therapy, she has to have her own life, so it’s been getting that balance.”



Freya has encouraged her mum to keep active during lockdown
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Image:

Rachel Harry / SWNS)






Rachel has taken her first steps thanks to Freya’s help
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Image:

Rachel Harry / SWNS)




The family has now set a challenge for Rachel to walk 400 yards unaided to celebrate her 40th birthday at the end of this year.

Rachel plans to help raise funds for the Clywd Riding Centre for the Disabled, which has helped with her recovery.

Karan added: “We’ve got to thinking that as she’s 40 in December we’d like Rachel to mark it in some way. It will show her progress and also it will be ten years in July since she had Freya.







“So, after seeing how well she walked, she was brilliant, we’d help her to walk 400 yards for her fortieth

“We’re still cautious. Covid is still around and it’s scary for anyone with underlying health conditions so, we won’t be having a party this year.

“But obviously we still want to mark the milestone and help raise funds for a local charity.”


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