07 Aug 2022

Family of young Derry girl born with brain defect ask public to 'help Bella take her big girl steps'

The family of a young Derry girl who was born with a brain defect are seeking the support of the public to enable her to walk unaided for the first time. David Cooper, started a GoFundMe page for his niece, Izabella 'Bella' Curry, where a target of £1,500 has been set. The money will be used to buy specially designed prosthetic legs, known as hip-knee-ankle-foot-orthosis (HKAFO), that will allow 2-year-old Bella to take her very first steps. David explained how Bella was born with a rare condition called Occipital Encephalocele, meaning that her brain was on the outside of her head. She had to have 40% of her brain removed at birth and has Cerebral Visual Impairment which is worsening. Bella also has severe Microcephaly, preventing her brain from developing properly and ultimately resulting in a smaller than normal head. As a consequence of having a large section of her brain removed, Bella has very low muscle tone and at nearly three years of age is unable to walk or even stand unaided. Bella’s mother, Torrie Anne, described what it would mean to her daughter: “Bella loves to dance and play football, and of course this isn’t the easiest of things to do in a wheelchair so these legs will help her do this. “To see her happy would just mean the world to me, she has overcome so much.” Torrie’s big brother, David, explained why he created the GoFundMe page: “We are hoping to fund a pair of prosthetic legs to help support Bella, offering her the opportunity to stand and walk by herself, and giving her that all important independence that every child deserves. “Bella is due to have her measurements for her prosthetic legs in six weeks time. These legs will be a custom-moulded plastic shell with contoured metal uprights and a pelvic band that provides support and correction to the hip, knee, ankle and foot. “This will improve Bella's body alignment and posture, increase her bone and muscle strength, and enhance her independence and self-esteem. “Any support from around the world would mean everything to both Bella and her family. We want to see Bella's face light up when she takes those first steps to becoming the independent child that she deserves to be. “We know that with the help of kind and thoughtful people, Bella will walk the world. “Thank you to everybody who takes the time to read this, and thank you for any donation to our cause - big or small. Please feel free to share Bella's story. “Let's help Bella take her big girl steps!” To donate visit

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