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Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 12:01 UK
Spondon family in worldwide appeal for poorly baby
Harriet Gregory
Harriet has been treated at the Royal Derby, the Queen's Medical Centre and Great Ormond Street Hospital

A family from Spondon has put out a worldwide appeal for information on a mystery condition affecting their baby.

10-month-old Harriet Gregory has suffered from breathing problems since birth and can't move her mouth or make facial expressions.

A series of doctors at three different hospitals have struggled to diagnose her precise condition so the family are now looking for answers further afield.

A website has been set up and a US research trip is being arranged.

Harriet's grandmother, Penny Murphy, is heading to the States to try to find clues on what could be making Harriet so ill.

Harriet Gregory

At the moment she is linked to oxygen, a heart monitor, a nebulizer and has to be fed through a tube.

Mother Lesley Gregory said: "Because we don't know what the cause is, we don't know how to make her better.

"We don't know whether she's on the right medicines or the right milk."

Harriet's condition means Lesley and dad Jason have to get up as many as 20 times a night to attend their poorly baby.

Grandmother Penny explained: "She can't give facial expressions and you can't hear her cry because she has a tracheo in all the time.

"You look at her little face and can see she's crying but there's no sound coming out. It's heartbreaking.

"Most babies of this age are wriggling about and trying to sit up and crawl but with Harriet it's quite a different kettle of fish."

Lesley Gregory and Harriet
Mum Lesley is determined to find out what's wrong with her baby

While investigations continue with doctors in this country, the family want to hear from other people in similar situations in the hope of gaining further insight into what's causing Harriet's problem.

Doctor William Whitehouse, from Nottingham's Queens Medical Centre, said: "We've ruled out quite a lot of very bad diseases we know Harriet hasn't got.

"In the end, children with whom we don't make a precise diagnosis often fare better than the ones where we do.

"It's just more difficult for the family and us doctors to have it hanging over us."

You can read more about Harriet or get in touch with the family via the Help Harriet website.


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