The story of Matilda Callaghan – the little girl who was covered in polka dots

Rebecca Callaghan’s pregnancy back in 2012 was a difficult on, and due to excess fluid around the fetus, the doctors decided to induce labor early.

Nobody had a clue that there was something wrong with little Matilda until about half an hour after she was born.

When she came into the world, she had a big blue mark on her face that stretched down one side of the body. At first doctors thought it was just a bruise – then they realized their huge mistake.

Just 30 minutes later, the doctors told the parents that it was a birthmark.

Two weeks after the birth, Matilda was diagnosed with Sturge Weber’s syndrome, a very rare neurological skin disease which also causes paralysis, learning difficulties and seizures.

Matilda quickly became so ill that she was taken to the Adler Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England.

In just a few days, the parents’ happiness had turned into extreme concern. They didn’t know if they would see their daughter alive again.


“We couldn’t travel with her as she was so ill. As we stood watching her being taken away, we didn’t know if we were going to see her again. We’d been so excited at our baby’s arrival, now within a matter of hours we didn’t know whether we would even see her alive again,” her father told Daily Mail.

On top of everything else, they learned that Matilda had two holes in her heart.

But she was a real little fighter, and although there was a high chance that she wouldn’t survive, she managed to make it through surgery.

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