EVERY DAY is a fight for little Paige Evans.
Diagnosed with a catalogue of life-limiting conditions, she has spent most of her young life in hospital.
The 14-month-old, who was the youngest baby in the country to be fitted with cochlear implants, has spent the past 11 weeks in specialist care.
Now, the family is faced with raising thousands of pounds to provide Paige with the support she will need once she is finally discharged from hospital.
Grandmother Kay Sandiforth said: “Every day is a battle for Paige, but she’s never given up. We’re so proud of her.”
Born profoundly deaf on March 11, last year, Paige was just two weeks old when she contracted meningitis, spending the next five weeks recovering.
But mum Bethany Tait, 20, and dad Paul Evans, 28, of Silksworth, suspected something else was wrong.
Looking up her symptoms on the internet, they raised concerns their daughter might have cerebral palsy and tests went on to confirm them right.
Paige was also admitted to Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital where she was fitted with the cochlear implants.
But more heartache followed for the family, as Paige was diagnosed with a catalogue of problems from sight issues to limited movement in her limbs.
Eleven weeks ago, she was taken to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary where doctors are now trying to bring her multiple seizures under control.
Kay, 42, said: “The seizures are caused by the epilepsy which, in turn, is caused by her cerebral palsy.
“They are trying to help control it with different types of medication.
“She does not have much movement and no coordination.
“She can’t even hold her own head up.
“We thought we were going to lose her a few weeks ago, after she developed an infection. That was a nightmare. I was getting updates on her condition every hour from her mum and dad.
“We just didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Paul and Bethany spend 24 hours a day with their daughter, putting a lot of pressure on the family.
Kay, also of Silksworth, added: “It’s a lot of hard work and can be very stressful but, through it all, Paige has never given up.
“She’s able to smile and even laugh and she can also make noises, often at the top of her voice,”
The family now face having to raise thousands of pounds to support their daughter, providing her with the 24-hour care she will need once she leaves hospital.
A specialist hospital bed will set them back £5,000, while they are hoping to buy her a car seat, buggy, as well as securing the expert nursing care she will require.
“We need to have as much as possible in place ready for her to come home,” added Kay. “It’s going to cost a lot because she will need so much care.”
A car boot sale has already been held, with other fund-raising events planned. But Kay realises the family will need all the support they can get.
“Any help anyone is able to give us would be massively appreciated,” she added.
A Facebook page has now been set up under Paige Nicole Evans. Anyone who can help can contact Kay on 079699 26378.