A MUM is hoping to be able to provide her young daughter with life-enhancing treatment, but is in a race against time to be able to fund it.

Katie Szekely from Pentwynmawr, is aiming to raise £3,900 in nine weeks to fund Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT), a treatment that is not available on the NHS, for her one-year-old daughter Nathalene.

South Wales Argus:

CIMT is a specialist form of rehabilitation of the arm and hand for children, and it is hoped that the treatment would give Nathalene, who has cerebral palsy, more use of her left arm, and help with standing and weight bearing.

The CIMT centre in Manchester has this week confirmed a September appointment for Nathalene.

“I’m really scared and anxious because I know the sooner she has the treatment the better. I can’t even think about having to rearrange, as for me it’s not an option," said Mrs Szekely.

"The early intervention is so important for her condition and she’s already not getting her full potential due to centres being shut for physiotherapy, orthotics and occupational therapy.”

South Wales Argus:

The total cost of the treatment is £9,585 including the consultation. Money has been raised through a series of fundraising efforts and Mrs Szekely had several other events planned with the aim of raising a remaining £3,900, including multiple events to sell toys and products from businesses, a men’s games night, and a children’s fun day at Easter.

But all of this had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and deposits had to be refunded, and now she says: “I really don’t know what else to do.”

Anyone wishing to donate towards the treatment for Nathalene can do so here.


When Mrs Szekely was pregnant, it was found that her baby had suffered a stroke, but this was not detected until three months after Nathalene's birth, and is believed to have led to her cerebral palsy.

Mrs Szekely said: “When Nathalene was younger she used to lay on the floor wanting to roll over and would try to move forward to crawl.

"We noticed her left arm was always dragging behind her. We would move it forward again, but it would just end up dragged behind her.

South Wales Argus:

“We took her to the GP who shared our concerns and after an overall assessment, she was referred to the children’s outpatients in Ystrad Mynach Hospital, where we were told of the possibility of cerebral palsy.

“Within two weeks, Nathalene had a CT scan which confirmed it. After the diagnosis, we had contact from Caerphilly children’s centre who added Nathalene to the ISCAN (Integrated Services for Children with Additional Needs) panel, and she had been receiving physiotherapy and occupational therapy intervention.”

Nathalene was also given access to an assessment nursery and has received aid from speech and language and orthotics professionals to help her development. She also has been referred to Cerebral Palsy Cymru for specific therapy.

South Wales Argus:

The CIMT treatment has been planned since January after Mrs Szekely saw a program called Battling for my Baby’s Brain.

"We knew we had to try it. We researched and contacted lots of different centres," she said.

"We visited Manchester and were so happy with the staff and the case studies were so encouraging, we knew that Nathalene needed to have this opportunity to give her a chance to have the same opportunities as other children.”