A brave two year-old girl from Southampton, who was born at just 25 weeks with serious health complications, is the picture of happiness when she is splashing about in the water during her weekly swimming lessons at Turtle Tots.
Paisleigh was born extremely premature at 25 weeks and 2 days, and has since suffered lots of complications including bleeding on the brain which developed into a cyst in her left motor region. The cyst then popped, leaving little Paisleigh with brain damage that could cause physical developmental difficulties and the chance of not even being able to walk.
Following months of physiotherapy, when Paisleigh was ten months old (in real time six months old as she was born at 25 weeks) the doctors’ suggested to her parents that continued exercise which would help support her physical development and muscle strength would be a good idea.
Paisleigh’s mum said: “I sat for a long time thinking of ways we could help support her with strengthening her muscles and early physical development, and that’s when I saw an advertisement for Turtle Tots in Southampton; I signed her up and our wonderful baby swimming journey began.”
More than 12 months on and Paisleigh is one of the most confident swimmers in her swim class.
Mum said: “Through Turtle Tots gentle, all-inclusive approach to baby swimming and their varied and planned programmes, Paisleigh has been given the opportunity to develop at her own pace using techniques and games designed to strengthen her legs, arms and core. Her favourite games are egg and spoon races and jumping in the water! She has so much fun and is developing really well – I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Paisley’s swimming teacher Beka, who holds the STA Diploma in Baby & Pre-School swimming teaching, the highest baby swimming teaching qualification in the UK, said: “Paisleigh is a joy to teach and it’s been wonderful to see how she has progressed both physically and mentally over the last year.”
“Swimming has been and continues to be the perfect activity for little Paisleigh,” adds Beka. “The increased resistance of the water is low-impact helping her to build muscle tone, while the buoyancy of the water has helped to reduce body weight, easing pressure on her growing bones and joints. The water has also given Paisleigh an enhanced sense of freedom and independence – and after all the hospital appointments, swimming is her fun time which is great for bonding with mum and socialising with her fellow class mates.”
“Paisleigh has truly flourished though our unique and holistic approach to baby swimming and we can’t wait to see how her swimming journey continues,” confirmed Beka.