A TEENAGER is still walking tall despite suffering from a debilitating genetic condition.
Ten years after being diagnosed with devastating neurological disorder Rett Syndrome Geena Bramley turned 18 this month.
Aged eight, Geena, of Hall Farm, was told she had the condition, which will eventually take her life at a young age.
But remarkably, although she cannot talk or move her arms, she is still walking unlike many suffering from Rett.
Mum Sandra Vincent, 44, says her daughter ‘comes alive’ when she hears music.
So as a birthday surprise, the family threw a party at Ashbrooke Cricket Club – complete with a swing singer, performing Geena’s favourite Robbie Williams tunes.
Geena, also lives with stepdad mark, 43, a bus driver, and has a brother, Liam, five, and seven-year-old stepbrother, Brandon.
Sandra first realised there was something not quite right wither Geena when she was a toddler.
“Her behaviour was very unmanageable,” said former hairdresser Sandra, who is now a full-time carer to her daughter. “Compared to other children she wasn’t doing the same things they were doing at the same age. The main problem has been behaviour and sleep. She has been in and out of hospital most of her life. But she is so happy and her brothers love her. My partner Mark does everything for her, which is fantastic as he is not her dad. She can’t speak normally and the only word she has said is ‘Mark’.”
Geena will be starting her last year at Portland Academy this autumn and her birthday party also doubled as a fundraiser for the Doxford Park special school, collecting £120 from the raffle.
“She’s been at Portland Academy since she was 12,” Sandra said. “She leaves next year which is why we wanted to give something back for all they have done for us over the years.”
“It’s been a long few years really, a lot of hard work,” she added. “I was told 10 years ago she would probably get to 23. We take each day as it comes, we don’t like to think about it too much.
“Geena is doing remarkably well at the moment and is very happy considering all of her disabilities. She has very little understanding but she loves music and it really makes her come alive.”