“I wish everyone could see how precious a little angel she is via her birthmark.” He is the courageous young man fighting off a sizable birthmark. Matilda Callaghan’s face and right half are covered in a recognizable birthmark. The courageous 2-year-old Matilda, however, did not let the laser treatments stop her from battling. Before Matilda was born in October 2010 weighing a healthy 5Ib 5oz, her parents, Paul, 45, and Rebecca, 41, from Leigh, Lancashire, had no idea what was wrong with her.
Due to Callaghan’s difficult pregnancy—caused by too much fluid in her amniotic sac—the doctors opted to induce labor early. She had a heavy purple mark on one side of her face when she was born, which the doctors initially mistook for a bruise. But they delivered the tragic news to the couple a half-hour later: it was the birthmark. She was identified as having the neurological disorder sturge Weber syndome two weeks later. It results in convulsions, paralysis, and learning impairments. Matilda was sent urgently from a hospital in Wigan to a children’s hospital in Liverpool due to its severe illness.
We were unable to accompany her because of her illness, Paul stated. We didn’t know if we would ever see her again as we saw her being hauled away. We were so happy when she was born, but we don’t know if we’ll ever see her alive again in a few hours. But Matilda was a formidable force from a young age. It was considerably harder for her to survive because she was born with two holes in her heart. After having a successful first procedure, she underwent another one to have two holes in her heart fixed when she was two months old. “We have been waiting for the surgery, even though she is two months old, she still looks too small to undergo such major surgery. Finally the surgeon came to us and told us that the surgery was successful. Matilda is absolutely amazing. Despite all she’s been through, she’s cheerful and always smiles at everyone. She is doing very well.” Doctors have said that Matilda’s birthmark can take 16 years of treatment for it to fade. She recently started laser treatment to stop growing as she became more weird.
“Matilda is over 30 years old and very brave. She is our little miracle. We want the best for her and make her life easier. We never thought she would make it when she was first born so we’ve come a long way. The changes we’ve made to the house, especially the elevator, have made a huge difference as she gets heavier and heavier, hopefully all of which will make Matilda’s life more comfortable.”