Health

Meet British Girl Charlea Armstead, A 12-Year-Old Battling Dementia

| by Emily Smith

British girl Charlea Armstead suffers from memory loss, mobility problems, incontinence, an inability to swallow and confusion due to a rare and incurable neurological condition, despite being only 12 years old.

Danielle Craig, Armstead’s mother, first noticed something was wrong with her daughter when Armstead was first born. Although Armstead looked jaundiced and had a swollen stomach, Niemann-Pick Type C is such a rare condition that doctors had to take a skin graph from Armstead’s arm and send it to France to be analyzed. After six months, Armstead was diagnosed with NPT-C.

“We were told she may never walk or talk properly and if she did she would lose these skills at an early age,” Craig said. “Rarely do people with NPT-C live into their teens.”

At age six, Armstead began having trouble with coordination and had difficulty holding a pen. A few years later she developed cartoplexy, a condition that causes Armstead to drop to the floor each time she laughs.

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“What people must think hearing me tell my daughter not to laugh, I can only wonder,” Craig said. “It was at this point that I knew that the disease was really taking hold.”

Craig said that Armstead can no longer remember people’s names and that she often repeats herself. She usually cannot remember where things are and has developed a tremor in her hands.

Despite an obvious decline in Armstead’s condition, Craig said that she has always raised her daughter as if she were perfectly healthy. In fact, Armstead has dreams of becoming a ballerina when she’s an adult, and through the Make A Wish Foundation she accompanied professional ballet dancers on stage at a rehearsal of Swan Lake in Manchester.

The family is now praying for a cure, and Armstead’s little brother has even vowed to become a doctor when he grows up so he can cure his sister.

Sources: DailyMail, Metro

Photo Source: DailyMail