Amazing transformation after 'not breathing' at birth

WHEN Zoey O'Donohue was born she wasn't breathing.

She was rushed to Brisbane where she spent two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit and suffered seizures.

Soon after doctors conducted tests on Zoey they found that she had cerebral palsy but at that young age no one could possibly know how it would affect her as she grew older.

On Saturday she celebrated her fifth birthday by having a party with more than 150 families from the Gladstone region as part of the annual Ride for Zoey fundraiser put on by family friends Jodie and Brad Harris.

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This is the third year the event has run at Mr and Mrs Harris' property at Turkey beach, with all money raised going out to help Zoey and her family cope with the costs of her care and ongoing treatment.

Last year the event raised $18,000 for Zoey and although Mrs Harris hadn't started counting the money, she said every little bit helped the family enormously.

With no physiotherapists in town who can look after Zoey, her mum and dad, Hayley and Josh, have to travel to Rockhampton "once or twice a week" for her care, which does get very expensive for the young couple.

"It's been a really great weekend and Zoey has been really good," Mrs O'Donohue said.

"She's had a great year at kindy and her speech is coming along.

"It might not seem like much but she's gone from commando crawling to crawling on all fours, which is one big milestone for us and her," she said.

Mrs O'Donohue said the amount of physiotherapy was worth it but put some of Zoey's progress down to her younger sister Lilly.

"She's been watching her crawl and learning from her and being at kindy with all of the awesome kids and aides have helped a lot," she said.

"We take each day as it comes and keep our fingers crossed there's nothing bigger than what I can handle."



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