Worcester water baby makes a splash on TV

First published in News by

A BABY girl with cerebral palsy is set to make a splash as Worcester’s newest television star.

Georgie Gibbs is one of three tots to feature in a documentary detailing the critical first few months of a child’s life entitled Secret Life of Babies, to be broadcast on ITV1 at 9pm tomorrow.

The 20-month-old was diagnosed with the condition, which makes her muscles stiff and restricts her movement, after being born 11 weeks premature.

But mum Claire Telford said taking Georgie swimming with the city’s Water Babies group has proved to be a massive benefit to her little girl and was pleased to appear in the documentary to show how much it had helped her daughter.

She said swimming has really helped improve Georgie’s movement.

“You can see the frustration on her face that she wants to do something,” she said.

“It’s heartbreaking. Somehow in the water, she’s able to relax and her muscles loosen.

“She’s much freer, she really enjoys the water.”

Miss Telford and her fiancé Carl, who live in St John’s and also have a three-year-old, hope the programme will raise awareness of the benefits of swimming for other children with cerebral palsy.

“If it helps other parents with children with special needs then that’s brilliant.”

Other stories featured in the documentary, which is narrated by Doc Martin star Martin Clunes, include a little boy who lost the use of half his brain as a result of epilepsy and another who made a miraculous recovery after being trapped underwater for six minutes.

It explores babies’ natural ability to swim by explaining the reflex allowing water they take in to go straight to their stomach rather than their lungs and provides an insight into a baby’s perspective on life including how they cope with traumatic situations as well as their preferences for sweet foods.

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