Glowing end for Rosie as tree is lit

Rosie Foster switches on the Christmas tree lights at Durham County Hall with a little help from Coun Dennis Morgan, chairman of the council.
Rosie Foster switches on the Christmas tree lights at Durham County Hall with a little help from Coun Dennis Morgan, chairman of the council.
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A BATTLING schoolgirl who was given just a five per cent survival before she was even born was chosen to switch on a Christmas lights display.

Four-year-old Rosie Foster was invited to carry out the honours and turn on the lights on the County Hall Christmas tree, in Durham City, with Durham County Council’s chairman Coun Dennis Morgan.

Rosie’s mum Louise was told when she had her 12-week scan that her unborn daughter had cystic hygroma, which is a blockage in the lymphatic system, and fetal hydrops, a related condition where an excessive amount of fluid is found in the baby’s body.

Further checks found the baby was unwell and the prognosis was bleak, with consultants only giving Rosie a five per cent chance of survival.

Louise and husband Chris were also told that if she did reach full-term, she could also have a chromosomal disorder.

A later scan found the hydrops had disappeared and the hygroma began to reduce, and in December 2006, Rosie was born seven weeks early.

The County Durham youngster was delighted to help switch on the lights.

Coun Morgan said: “Rosie is an absolute inspiration, full of zest for life and buzzing with energy. I am sure the lights she has set aglow will fill all who see them with a warm festive cheer, despite the chilly weather.”

Chris added: “Rosie is completely healthy and full of life. She tackles everything she does with great gusto and the way she approached the switch-on was absolutely typical – she puts her all into everything and certainly enjoyed her big moment.”

Rosie has her own website, www.rosiefoster.org, celebrating her life and Louise and Chris hope their experiences will help any other parents-to-be who find themselves in a similar situation.