'She'll never walk or talk but when she laughs that's forgotten' - Father of Emily (3) who has intellectual disabilities
The father of a three-year-old girl who has the mental capacity of a three-month-old baby says seeing her laugh makes “every worry go out the window”.
Emily McCormack was born with global developmental delay and can only communicate with dad Robert (32), mum Nikki (31) and big sister Mia (8) through infectious giggles.
Robert, from Blanchardstown, said he had hoped that Emily, who cannot walk or talk, would one day be able to develop.
However, the family recently received the devastating news that Emily would almost certainly remain as she is.
“Emily has no abilities,” Robert told the Herald.
“She’s totally dependent on me and Nikki. She can’t sit up or talk.
“We have a walker we put her in. She goes in lying down and it allows her to stand up while being held up.
“It’s meant to train her to stand and move on to walking, but unfortunately she’s not progressing.
“I asked a paediatrician about Emily developing and they told me the most we’d see is what we do now and anything else is a bonus. That took me by surprise – we knew Emily’s position, but we always hoped for the best.
“I got swept up in that hope and it was very hard hearing that. Life expectancy varies, but we haven’t met an adult with this condition yet. We’ve met other children of 11 or 12, but no one older.
“We try not to think about it and we definitely live in the day. It’s the easiest way rather than looking too far into the future.
“Life is hard at times, but when you see Emily giggling, every worry goes out the window.”
Robert and Nikki were married in March and, thanks to LauraLynn Children’s Hospice and the Jack and Jill Foundation, Emily was able to attend the wedding. She has now been accepted for pre-school at St Michael’s House for children with intellectual disabilities.
Motorbike enthusiasts Robert and Nikki are running a fundraising ride for LauraLynn from the Maxol garage at the Red Cow on Naas Road at 11am on Sunday.