Sunderland mum creates custom calipers to make ill children smile

Tracey and Dan Huggins with their two year old daughter Delilah and her customised calipers.
Tracey and Dan Huggins with their two year old daughter Delilah and her customised calipers.
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A LITTLE girl battling a mystery illness has had her life brightened up – after her loving mum spruced up her calipers.

Two-year-old Delilah Huggins struggles to walk or even crawl without the help of a walking frame.

Despite tests at Sunderland Royal Hospital, the RVI in Newcastle and London’s Great Ormond Street, doctors are baffled as to what exactly she is suffering from.

And, after being given the calipers to help aid her mobility, her parents decided that they needed changing to make them more appealing to wear.

Delilah’s mum Tracey, 26, of Red House in Sunderland, said: “When Delilah was given the calipers they were clumpy.

“My husband Dan mentioned Forrest Gump when Delilah first got them, so we thought we’d change them.

“So we decided to ‘girly’ them up a bit by changing the design after we were given permission by her physiotherapist.

“Once they have been used they are given to children in Third World countries so it’ll be better for those kids too.”

It was just a few months after she was born that Tracey and Dan, 27, noticed Delilah was not developing properly.

“We realised that she wasn’t holding her head up or trying to lift herself up either,” said Tracey, who is also mum to Leah, nine, and Logan, six.

“She can’t sit up, she can’t walk and she can’t crawl on her own. Her eyes shake constantly from side to side, too.”

Deliliah’s suspected diagnosis is Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, a neurological disorder which starts because of a mass in her brain.

Tracey is now calling on the parents of other children who use calipers and want them jazzing up, to contact her via her Tracey’s Custom Calipers Facebook page.

Tracey and Dan now hope to set up a charity where they can modify the walking aid for other youngsters.

She said: “We wouldn’t ask for any money to do this, other than that people pay for the cost of the ribbons and glue which we use.

“Even then, it would only be a couple of pounds each.”