THE family of a terminally ill teenage girl who has defied the odds are trying to make her final days as comfortable as possible.

Sarah-Louise Fitzpatrick - known to her family as Sarah Lou - was born premature at 36 weeks with severe brain damage following an epileptic fit that robbed her brain of oxygen for six minutes.

Despite being told that Sarah-Lou had little chance of surviving due to the severity of her Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy brain damage, her family have spent 14 years with Sarah-Lou. As she reaches her final days, the Rhyl family are now seeking £5,000 to buy a specialist, wheeled ‘Acheeva’ bed to include her in as many activities as possible and make their last happy memories together.

Rhyl Journal:

Sarah-Louise Fitzpatrick, 14, loves listening to music and spending time with her family

Sandra Fitzpatrick, Sarah-Lou’s mum, said; “I was told when she was born if I had gone to hospital a moment later, she wouldn’t have made it. Her organs weren’t working, her heart had stopped and she wasn’t kicking and I had to have a C Section.

“Due to the swelling in her brain, she had to have an MRI straight away which was sent off to Alder Hey where we found out she had a grade three out of four severity of brain damage. Children born with a four don’t survive.

“The doctors didn’t think she’d live for long, so the fact that she’s still with us today shows how much of a miracle she is.”

As well as living with brain damage, Sarah-Lou also has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and scoliosis and is blind. She also requires palliative care, assisted oxygen and is fed via a tube.

Until last year, Sarah-Lou was able to attend Tir Morfa Community Special School in Rhyl, however, due to the deterioration in her body both of her hips have dislocated and the family have been told “she wouldn’t make it off the operating table” if they attempted surgery.

The family - including brothers Michael James, 12, who lives with autism, and Cameron, eight - remain upbeat, with dad Michael even taking time to fundraise for other charities by taking on a Tough Mudder challenge on Sunday, September 7 near Chester.

Mrs Fitzpatrick, who works part time as a hairdresser and barber, said: “We can’t bear the thought of missing out on time with Sarah-Lou or having her stuck in her room by herself. She’s always full of smiles, even though we know she’s in a lot of pain.

“The bed was recommended to us by staff at Ty Gobaith, who were shocked we didn’t have one, and will allow us to bring her in comfortably when we’re spending time together. It’s all about quality of life, not quantity.

“Because she is blind, we have music playing 24/7. She loves the soundtracks of Dirty Dancing and Mamma Mia!, as well as the Smurfs and Lonely by Akon. Most people count sheep when they’re trying to fall asleep, but we count how many times Lonely has been on repeat.

“She’s our world. Whenever we’ve had a bad day, we look at her and she makes us all so proud.

“We don’t really like begging, but we’ve made peace with asking for help and are tying to make sure we’re also giving back.”

The family has raised £2,200 of their £5,000 target. To donate, click here.