A much-loved community member is continuing to defy doctors diagnosis as she prepares for her 16th birthday. Hollie Tomkinson, who lives in Cheadle with her mum Karen Mace, has battled against the odds all her life, right from the very start.
A much-loved community member is continuing to defy doctors diagnosis as she prepares for her 16th birthday.
Hollie Tomkinson, who lives in Cheadle with her mum Karen Mace, has battled against the odds all her life, right from the very start.
She was born six weeks early and contracted a rare form of meningitis twice before she was three months old prior to another instance in 2010.
Because of this, she can only use 35 per cent of her brain and suffers from hydrocephalus (or water on the brain).
As a result, Hollie has to have a special shunt in her brain to drain the fluid away and wears a helmet when walking about, which is in itself difficult to do with Hollie requiring a splint on her leg.
She also has feeding issues so is fed by a special tube through her tummy.
In addition to all of this, she cannot talk, has a right-sided weakness and has epilepsy, cerebral palsy and kidney problems.
But those who know Hollie know that she hasn’t let these issues get in the way of her achievements and happiness.
And now, despite doctors saying she wouldn’t reach teenage-hood, she is set to celebrate her 16th birthday today (Thursday, November 18).
“I’m the proudest mum ever of Hollie and how she’s battled through everything life’s thrown at her,” Karen told the Times & Echo.
“She’s had a tough life with all her illnesses and disabilities but she doesn’t let it bother her at all.
“She just keeps on fighting with a big smile on her face.”
She added: “We were always told that there was no way by her brain scans that she’d ever get to be a teenager and now she’s turning 16 on Thursday.
“It’s a massive milestone to us. It just goes to prove how strong-minded she is and wants to carry on being happy and healthy.”
And things are getting brighter for Hollie too as she starts to enjoy some independence thanks to the use of some brilliant aids.
Karen continued: “She now has a special communication device that let’s her communicate.
“She touches different pictures on the device to make a sentence and it’s really helped her to be more independent and not so frustrated when she wants to talk to you or wants something.
“We’re currently waiting to have a stair lift put in the house which will mean Hollie can have more independence at home and be able to access upstairs.
“Touch wood, it will be done before Christmas and make our lives so much better.”
Hollie is an adored figure in her local community. This was exemplified when she was chosen to switch on the Christmas lights for Cheadle in 2019 after receiving the Staffordshire Child of Courage Award in 2010.
Karen added: “Hollie is well-known in our community and when people see her they always give her a high-five which makes her day.
“Hollie goes to the Meadows Special School in Leek, which she loves.
“She’s come on leaps and bounds since being there this past four years. Every morning she’s so excited to go to school.”
Hollie is set for a big family get-together tomorrow for a yummy birthday meal, which is something she “will love.”
Happy Birthday Hollie from all of us at the Stunner!
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