Hi, I'm Georgia Conn
Georgia is a 13-year-old smiling, shining star!
She is a delightful, engaged, funny, determined, bright little lady with a head full of crazy curls. Georgia also has severe Cerebral Palsy, which means
she is unable to walk, talk, stand, sit, eat, wash, sleep, play, or even go to the bathroom independently. She requires 24 hour / 7 days a week assistance,
care, and support for all tasks, 365 days of the year.
Georgia had an extremely traumatic birth.
She arrived silent and blue, and had to be immediately resuscitated and spent her first month in the NICU. Her Apgar score was 1 out of 10. Georgia had
suffered a huge hypoxic injury (lack of oxygen) that had done extensive and irreversible damage to her otherwise healthy brain, and at just 7 days
old she was given the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy Spastic Dystonic Quadriplegia Grade 5. This is the severest grade of cerebral palsy. Had her birth
not been so terrible, Georgia would be a typical 12 year old today.
This is every parent’s worst-case scenario. Our world imploded, and her tough journey began.
Georgia has come a long way since her birth. She literally fought back from the dead, and has gallantly and gracefully fought ever since. Over the
past decade, this little trooper has literally spent some 7000+ hours of her life doing formal therapy. You can more than double that number when including
the home therapy programs conducted by her family and dedicated carers.
Georgia is now in Year 6 in a mainstream classroom at school, just one of her many achievements that is well beyond all expectations. She is a happy
student and model success story of inclusive education. As well as school, she juggles Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Conductive
Education, Hydrotherapy, and Chiropractic therapy sessions each week. Every school holidays Georgia spends another 60-70 hours at the NAPA Centre,
a world leader of paediatric rehabilitation therapy, doing their specialised Intensive therapy programs. And then there are the regular hospital check-ups
and medical appointments… All of these therapies assist Georgia to develop skills, and to manage her pain level. Because of her therapy intervention,
Georgia is very healthy and strong.
In late 2018, Georgia underwent a large operation, and had a Baclofen Pump placed. The pump delivers a permanent medication stream directly into her spine,
easing her dystonia, calming movements, and reducing her pain. It has taken about 6 months to settle in, but we are now seeing its benefits. Georgia
is back into intensive therapy now to rebuild her strength and function.
Every formal therapy session over the 12 years has averaged between $150 - $190 or more per session. Her equipment costs are astronomical ($17,500 for
her manual wheelchair, $8,000 for a stander, $8,000 for a walking frame, $1,500 for a basic communication device, $5,000 for a hoist, $350 for special
supportive shoes, just as examples). You do the maths! Disability comes with an enormous price tag sadly. NDIS does help her thankfully, but there
are huge gaps in funding and support.
Georgia’s still has a major goal of communication. She is slowly and surely learning the use of her communication system, accessing technology and speech
programs through her iPad and head switches. Through this she will ultimately be able to tell the world what she really wants, feels, knows, understands,
and is interested in. She will be able to ask questions. She will be able to really learn, and ultimately be a contributing member of her community.
Most importantly, she will be able to communicate with her friends, family, and community.
Your support will help Georgia make a difference to the world.
Georgia has achieved more than any medical expert had ever anticipated or predicted, and this inspirational little girl has broken the barriers of common
expectation of a child with Grade 5 cerebral palsy. We know she will continue to do this.
Georgia is seeking, and needing, your generous support to continue on her positive journey, continue to grow, continue to learn, and to continue to challenge
society’s expectations of children with Cerebral Palsy.
Your generous support will be utilised for Georgia’s many therapies, which will continue to enable her to make breakthroughs beyond expectation; Georgia's
24 / 7 care and respite needs, and for any specialised equipment, assistive technology, home modifications, or medical requirements which will support
and enable both Georgia's care and capacity building.
Georgia has developed such a strength, resilience, calmness and happiness. She is wiser than most of us will ever be. She is infinitely more patient. She
brings a warmth and gentleness to the world. Her smile and laugh is incredibly genuine and powerful. She can light up a room and she makes friends
wherever she goes. Georgia is acutely observant and aware of her world and everyone in it. She makes her choices. She loves music, movies, swimming,
playgrounds, being out in the sunshine, chocolate, and spaghetti bolognaise, and has a wicked sense of humour. She is an awesome big sister. She is
a much-loved member of her classroom and whole school community. She is a delightful friend to many. She is her family’s shining light.
Georgia has helped everyone she meets see the world through very different eyes. She tests the system and she is breaking down barriers. She brings awareness
to the world that it is not an equal place, but inclusion is the only way forward. Georgia is, and will continue to, make a difference in the world.
12 years is a long time, and the next decade will be crucial for Georgia to continue to grow and advance.
THANK YOU FOR being part of her amazing cheer squad.
The Conn Family truly thanks you for your support for Georgia.