Happy milestone ahead for north Norfolk tot Angelina Mills

A little north Norfolk girl who has battled with the complications of a rare brain injury since birth will reach a happy milestone next month when she joins other toddlers at a nursery.

Two-year-old Angelina Mills, from Gresham, is due to spend five hours a week at the Strawberry Patch Nursery in nearby Hempstead and her mum, Lisa Massingham, is sure her daughter will love it.

'She's so outgoing and needs so much stimulation that her dad and I felt being at a nursery would be good for her. She needs to have a bit more independence where they can put in the 100 per cent stimulation that she needs,' said Ms Massingham.

Angelina, who has two older brothers, suffers from Sturge-Weber syndrome which left her with a port wine stain on her face, epilepsy, bodily weakness and learning delay.

In June 2010 she underwent successful pioneering surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to stop the epileptic seizures in an operation which involved disconnecting the outer layer of the affected right half of her brain.

Ms Massingham said although the right hemisphere of Angelina's brain was still fitting, nothing was now able to transfer across to the left hemisphere and she had not suffered any visual seizures for more than a year.

'Hand on my heart I now truly believe she will remain seizure free. She's doing really well but the surgery has enhanced the weakness a great deal and she tends to have to be told things at least three times as often as other children before it goes in,' she said.

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The family is waiting for confirmation of funding for specialist one-to-one support at Strawberry Patch before they can fix Angelina's precise start date at the nursery.

The little girl and her mum spent Boxing Day morning on Cromer beach cheering on a party of staff and parents from Strawberry Patch, including nursery owner Emma Marsh, who were raising money for Sturge-Weber UK by taking part in the annual swim.

So far the seven have collected more than �180, with other sponsor money expected. Miss Cromer, Lucy Royle, also took part in the event and pledged her sponsorship to help Angelina's own fund.

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