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Severely disabled girl, 4, ‘can’t walk, talk or crawl’ after mum caught virus while pregnant

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A London mum who caught a common virus during pregnancy is now a full-time carer for her disabled daughter who has screaming fits five or six times a day.

Rio Taylor, 34, of Ruislip in West London, contracted the cytomegalovirus (CMV) – which affects pregnant women and is usually harmless – during pregnancy five years ago.

Rio thinks she contracted the virus, which is spread through bodily fluids like coughs and sneezes, while working full-time as a childminding assistant, something she regrets in hindsight.

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Rio Taylor, 34, with her 4-year-old daughter Millie, who was left severely disabled after Rio contracted a common virus during pregnancy

The virus meant Rio’s youngest daughter Millie Marie, who is now four-years-old, was born with congenital CMV, leaving her unable to ‘walk, talk, crawl, stand, sit up unaided, or point’.

Millie has cerebral palsy affecting her entire right hand side, epilepsy which causes her to have seizures, deafness in both ears, has been hospitalised on three occasions for breathing difficulties, and has random screaming fits anytime throughout the day or night.

Rio said she and her partner were told in an early private scan to determine the sex of the baby, which found she was ‘very small’ – but other than that nothing seemed amiss.

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Rio didn’t know anything about her daughter’s disabilities until after Millie was born

She said: “As far as we knew, every scan, everything was fine. It wasn’t until after she was born that issues started happening.”

Rio said although Millie looked perfectly well when she was born, looking now there were “so many things that weren’t right”.

She said: “It’s a small head she’s got, it’s called microcephaly. They should’ve picked up on that when she was new-born.

“She’s got a little tiny pithole on the ear. That’s not marked down on the notes. She had a very faint rash on the body, and she still has them on her hands and feet and the inside of her mouth.”

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Millie has to be carried or pushed everywhere by her mum

Rio said Millie “couldn’t feed properly” on a bottle when she was born, which they later realised was due to her having a swallow delay.

“It used to take nearly two hours to do two ounces of milking,” said Rio.

During Millie’s first hearing test, which took place three months after she was born on February 19, she was identified as being deaf in one ear.

By July Millie’s hearing had totally deteriorated, leaving her totally deaf and dependant on hearing implants.

Although she is four, Rio has to carry Millie round everywhere because she can’t walk, and her cerebral palsy means she needs reminding to the right hand side of her body.

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Rio and her partner want to build a sensory outhouse for Millie in their garden, where she can go to play

Rio said: “She doesn’t talk so I have to sort of guess what she wants. She can cry or smile, and is learning to push away if she doesn’t like something.

“One minute she’s sitting there all happy, playing, then within a split second she screams the house down.

“She gets really angry, she bites my hair, she’s starting to hit with her left hand.”

Rio said tantrums like this frequently happen five or six times every day.

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In the family’s two-bedroom bungalow – where Millie’s dad and the couple’s older daughter, 14-year-old Lexi, also live – there isn’t much space to take her for some quiet time.

The family have started a GoFundMe in the hopes they can raise money for a simple sensory outhouse in their back garden, with sensory toys and soft furnishings, where Millie can go for time out.

Millie enjoys bright colours and lights, bubbles, and soft textures, and Rio said giving Millie “her own space to play” will help calm her down when she gets upset, and give Lexi the space to do her school work.

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/severely-disabled-girl-4-cant-21211758