Mum of five-year-old girl with cerebral palsy hopes to hear her voice for first time after stem cell treatment

The mum of a five-year-old girl with severe cerebral palsy  is hoping to hear her voice for the first time after her next  stem cell treatment programme.

Imogen Holmes and her mum Briony Winstanley are due to travel to the Stem Cell Institute in Panama in central America next summer for the latest round of treatment, which was made possible thanks to a community fundraising campaign.

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Imogen suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which has left her unable to speak or walk.

Imogen Holmes Photo: Simon Hulme

She underwent an MRI scan before being diagnosed with cerebral palsy in June 2017 - just over a week after her first birthday.

Fundraising campaigns have raised a total of £40,000 to pay for ongoing stem cell treatment for Imogen in Panama.

Imogen and her mum Briony and dad Stephen Holmes travelled to the Stem Cell Institute in 2019 for an eight day trip for treatment after £20,000 was raised.

Briony, of Hemsworth, said Imogen was later able to communicate by nodding and shaking her head.

Imogen Holmes (centre) pictured with her sister Delilah, four, and mum Briony Winstanley. Photo: Simon Hulme

"It was amazing, because we had been trying just to get that little bit of communication," said Briony.

"When she did that it was like a big weight had been taken off my shoulders."

A second fundraising campaign raised the £20,000 needed for a second set of treatment planned for 2020, but it was postponed due to Covid.

Imogen Holmes pictured with mum Briony Winstanley. Photo: Simon Hulme

The family plan to travel to Panama in August 2022 for the treatment.

Briony said: "The main thing I want to come from the stem cell is hearing her voice. If she crawls or walks, that is an added bonus, but I just want to hear her voice."

Briony said local business Security and Facilities Support Uk Ltd has donated £1,800 for a specially made trike which will allow Imogen to be independent and play with friends.

Thanking everyone who has donated to all the appeals, Briony said: "To the community, supporters, Imogen’s family and friends we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

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