Three-year-old Keira has just taken her first steps. She was born with CMV and is deaf. Her parents were told she would never walk.
Three-year-old Keira has just taken her first steps. She was born with CMV and is deaf. Her parents were told she would never walk. Warren Lynam

Toddler hits major milestone despite congenital infection

LITTLE Keira Hockley reached a major milestone her parents thought might never happen when she took her first unaided steps.

The almost three-year-old lives with congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV), which occurs when an infected mother passes CMV to the foetus through the placenta.

"With CMV, you don't know what it's going to effect with your child until they don't hit milestones," her mother, Danielle Hockley, said.

 

Keira Hockley took her first unaided steps last week after years of therapy and determination.
Keira Hockley took her first unaided steps last week after years of therapy and determination.

"You don't know whether they're going to talk or walk or survive, you have no idea."

Last week, after years of therapy and determination, Keira took her first unaided steps, with her mum cheering her on.

 

Keira Hockley's first unaided steps:

"That was two years in the making," Mrs Hockley said.

"She was so happy with herself. She gets so excited so that was awesome. She walks everywhere now."

The "happy little girl" is profoundly deaf, but has recently been fitted with her second cochlear implant and now has full mechanical hearing.

 

Keira Hockley hears with second cochlear implant:

She has also been diagnosed with severe autism, is non-verbal, has global development delay and vision impairment.

Mrs Hockley has credited Sunshine Coast physiotherapist Anette Jonischkeit, of Paediatric Physiotherapy, for aiding Keira's progression with cCMV.

"Without her our daughter would not be where she is today," she said.

 

Keira Hockley with mum Danielle, dad Jack and siblings Cooper, 6, and Alex, 5.
Keira Hockley with mum Danielle, dad Jack and siblings Cooper, 6, and Alex, 5.

Mrs Hockley is raising awareness on CMV by connecting families through her Facebook page Keira's CMV Journey.

"So many people don't know about it. A lot of doctors don't and a lot of specialists don't know about it, which makes it hard when you need to take her anywhere," she said.

The Hockleys have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the funds to cover the costs of Keira's numerous therapies.

A family member is also fundraising for the toddler by participating in the Noosa Classic later this year.

For now, Keira's family will wait to see how she develops while giving her every bit of love and support she needs.

For more information and to follow Keira's journey, visit facebook.com/keirascmvjourney.