A four-year-old child whose parents were told she would never walk has taken her first steps thanks to revolutionary treatment at a unique brain injury clinic.
Jorja Emerson from Dundonald has walked with support for the first time and the hope now is she will be stepping out on her own by summer.
In what her delighted dad Robin described as a miracle, his little girl has come on leaps and bounds since starting treatment at the Craniaa Neuro Rehab Clinic, which is based in Belfast and Camlough.
Robin, who made headlines when he secured the UK's first ever prescription for medicinal cannabis oil to treat his daughter's seizures in 2018, is overjoyed by her progress at the clinic.
He says: "It was while researching online that I found Dr Goshi from Craniaa.
"I had read many case studies where he had used his rehabilitation techniques to help children with similar disorders, to walk unaided.
"I contacted him immediately and after the initial session with Jorja, Dr Goshi said that he believed he could have her walking unaided by next summer (18 months after her first appointment).
"Jorja has been going every week and Dr Goshi uses a combination of techniques to improve her mobility, strength and movement.
"The change in her has been remarkable. She can sit up which she couldn't do before and also pull herself up onto her feet and to see her taking her first aided steps was just amazing.
"That was something doctors believed would never happen.
"Dr Goshi has given us so much hope and improved Jorja's life immeasurably. We have full confidence that she will be able to walk in the not too distant future."
Jorja has had a very challenging start to her life but thanks to her devoted parents who refused to give up and left no stone unturned to find the right support, her quality of life is improving every day.
The tot was born with a rare chromosome disorder - 1q43q44 - which causes developmental delay.
When she was 10 months old, it triggered severe epilepsy leading to as many as 30 life-threatening seizures a day.
After a particularly bad episode when she seized for 17 hours and ended up in intensive care, her parents Robin and Carly were told their little girl was terminal and they were advised to bring her home to die.
Refusing to accept the prognosis, Robin consulted doctors in the US and Australia who recommended cannabis oil.
He lobbied both Stormont and Westminster and in 2018, Jorja became the first child in the UK to receive a prescription for medical cannabis after the law changed.
He says: "Jorja has had every drug going - but nothing worked.
"She was on six different medications and had more than 30 epileptic seizures a day, any one of which could have killed her.
"I researched and researched and I saw the effects in other countries where cannabis is legal and how well it worked.
"Jorja was suffering the most terrifying seizures all day every day - every single one was a 999 situation and required rescue medication.
"Once we received the prescription, Jorja's and our lives changed very quickly.
"After about five weeks, her 30 seizures a day went down to practically nil. There are still days when she will have a small episode, but nothing like before. And for that, I am truly grateful."
Robin (33), who shares custody of Jorja with his ex-wife Carly, has now set up a business dedicated to helping companies who specialise in medicinal cannabis oil to set up in the UK.
He continues his battle to improve his daughter's quality of life and is in the process of setting up a charity in her name. The devoted dad hopes that by summer, The Jorja Emerson Foundation will be up and running, helping other families of children with special needs to get access to equipment and support.
In the meantime he is thrilled to see little Jorja take her first steps thanks to the work of Dr Goshi (Dr Gopalan Sivakumar) and his colleague Ms Ramya Siva Kumar at the Craniaa clinic.
The duo have been transforming lives with their specialist treatments for brain and spinal cord injuries.
They help with pain management, mobility, strength and movement.
Craniaa is well known Ireland-wide for being the only centre which provides rehabilitation for children and adults with genetic neurological disorders.
The patented techniques they use include cortical retraining, spinal stimulation, NIRT and Fast Oscillating technique.
The practice is also one of the only centres in the UK and Ireland to use the universal exercise unit also known as spider cage therapy which uses partial weight bearing gait training using a treadmill within a 'spider cage'.
Seen by many as a miracle worker, Dr Goshi has patients aged from three months to 95 years.
He too is thrilled by Jorja's progress. He said: "Jorja has a very, very rare genetic condition which has severely slowed down her development.
"She required our specialist care to help with her neuro-rehabilitation, which is a dynamic process.
"This type of therapy is very important because research has shown that the brain can be helped to learn some of the lost or missing functions with the process of neural plasticity. Neural plasticity, by means of regular and intensive rehabilitation therapy, not only helps brain tissue regrow, it also helps in re-learning or regaining lost skills, such as sensory integration, posture, balance, cognition, speech and language.
"By regaining functional skills, the risk of muscular tightness and contractures, joint stiffness and pressure sores is reduced; bladder and bowel functions and chest function are improved, thus reducing the risk of intestinal and pulmonary infections.
"Thus physical, physiological and social abilities improve in the long term, leading to the emotional wellbeing of the patient and his/her family.
"I have every confidence that Jorja's development will improve steadily as she continues with her treatments and look forward to her taking her first steps this year."
÷ For more information go to www.craniaaneurorehabcentre.com