The sky is the limit for little Katie following her US trip

The sky is the limit for little Katie following her US trip
Mary Cody @marygcody

The family of Kilkenny youngster have received new hope after travelling to Dallas to meet with a leading neurologist.

Katie Lonergan has defied all the medical odds since she was born in 2009. Katie spent the first 19 weeks in hospital and was diagnosed with being profoundly deaf on discharge and was subsequently diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was just 18 months old. At the time medics advised Katie's parents that their daughter would never walk or talk.

Katie's family raised funds for their little girl to be sent to America in 2013 for groundbreaking treatment. While there Katie was also diagnosed with dystonia .

The bubbly youngster is thriving and is in first class in the local national school in Owning.

Over the Christmas holidays she travelled to Dallas with her parents Aisking and John and little brother Jamie. While there she met with Dr Jan Brunstrom, a neurologist, who has cerebral palsy and dystonia.

Katie's Mum, Aisling said that the decision to go to Dallas was one the family 'mulled over'.

“We spoke to others who have been here and discussed it with many of the people who work with Katie. It was a big decision but we felt it was something that we had to do for ourselves and for Katie.

“Katie was diagnosed with dystonia almost four years ago but we never really understood what it meant for Katie and now we do.

“We have been able to speak to someone who walks in Katie's shows daily. We have asked questions and got answers. What we have heard may not be what we wanted to hear but at least we understand better.

“Dr Jan Brunstrom has given us so much hope for Katie's future. The fact that she has cerebral palsy and dystonia herself and is a leading neurologist in America speaks for itself and shows the possibilities - there really are on limits.”

Katie's parents are excited by what 2017 may have in store for their daughter.

“With the proper orthotics and medication our little girl can be confident that life will become easier for her and confident that her Mammy and Daddy now understand her diagnosis a little better,” said Aisling.

“We want to thank everyone who continues to support Katie and delight in her progress and we look forward in sharing her progress with you in 2017,” she added.