Defiant two-year-old with brain damage defies doctors to walk in time for dream Peppa Pig themed Christmas celebrations

A defiant two-year-old with brain damage whose family were told was never going to walk has courageously taken her first steps - just in time for her Christmas celebrations.
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Minnie-Mae suffers from anaemia, stiffness, muscle weakness, epilepsy and severe brain damage.

Her family were told she would probably never walk and would have "no quality of life".

Courtney with Minnie-MaeCourtney with Minnie-Mae
Courtney with Minnie-Mae
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However, little fighter Minnie-Mae has defied all predictions to take her first steps in the run up to Christmas.

Her proud mum Courtney told the YEP she can't wait to spend the festive season as a family together and cherishes every day with her little warrior.

Last Christmas, the family were the victims of a horrific burglary - with their presents stolen from underneath the tree.

Courtney took Minnie-Mae for a short drive away from their home in Leeds at around midnight as she wouldn't settle for bed.

Minnie-Mae FarnellMinnie-Mae Farnell
Minnie-Mae Farnell
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However, less than 30 minutes later on the family's return, they discovered their home had been burgled.

Presents including a brand new Xbox had been stolen from their home, with belongings strewn across the living room.

Courtney - who is Minnie-Mae's full time carer - said the family had been left with "nothing".

Hundreds of Leeds residents banded together to donate presents to surprise Minnie-Mae last Christmas following the theft.

Minnie-Mae FarnellMinnie-Mae Farnell
Minnie-Mae Farnell
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Now, 12 months on, Courtney said they are all set for a 'Peppa Pig' themed Christmas - Minnie-Mae's favourite TV character.

Despite not being able to talk, Minnie-Mae giggles along to the program and Courtney said she can't get enough of it.

"A night in her fluffy pyjamas on Christmas Eve watching Peppa Pig would be the best night ever", Courtney told the YEP.

"She even laughs at Daddy Pig's jokes.

Courtney Farnell with Minnie-Mae after birthCourtney Farnell with Minnie-Mae after birth
Courtney Farnell with Minnie-Mae after birth

"It is one of the best ways for her to communicate.

"After last year, we are just cherishing what we have.

"Minnie-Mae has achieved so much this year, I am so proud of her."

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Minnie-Mae astonished her family when she took her first ever steps in September.

Courtney was offered a termination right up until she gave birth.

She never considered the option and knew Minnie-Mae would prove her limits did not lie with the original diagnosis.

Minnie-Mae with the donated presentsMinnie-Mae with the donated presents
Minnie-Mae with the donated presents

"The baby they told me would never move was walking in front of my eyes", Courtney said.

"I was told she would be blind, deaf, never walk or talk.

"Look at her now.

"She is always smiling.

"She is always so happy.

"Minnie-Mae makes me proud in all different ways.

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"I can't wait to watch her rip open her Peppa Pig presents in the wrapping paper, her face will be a picture.

"She deserves it."

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