Little Maddison Gill, from Trull, looking forward to first home Christmas

This is The West Country: Maddison with nanny Angie, mum Tamsin and dad Gene. Buy this photo » Maddison with nanny Angie, mum Tamsin and dad Gene.

A TRULL family are looking forward to their best-ever present tomorrow (December 25) – their two-year-old daughter’s first full Christmas at home.

The excited parents of Maddison Gill – the toddler who baffled doctors because she can’t cry or laugh – plan to get up early to help her unwrap her gifts.

They’ve been denied what most mums and dads take for granted over the past two festive seasons, which Maddison spent at Taun-ton’s Musgrove Park Hospital.

“We’re really looking forward to it,” said her mother Tamsin Whatley.

“Maddison has made lots of progress since coming home for good earlier this year and it’s great all being together at home for Christmas.”

Maddison spent her first 14 months in hospital due to a condition that meant she was unable to control her muscles, walk or talk, needed a tube to feed and breathe and couldn’t cry, suck, swallow, gag or cough.

Despite several tests over the past 25 months, experts have been unable to diagnose what is wrong and believe she could be the only person in the world with the complaint.

Her father, Gene Gill, said: “She’s developing well since she came out of hospital in February.

“At first she could only roll on the floor, then she started crawling and now she’s walking around supporting herself on things, pulls herself up on to the sofa, goes into the kitchen, where she empties the cupboards.

“She’s getting lots of presents – toys and outfits.”

A carer sleeps over five nights a week, while Tamsin’s mum, Angie Whatley, spends two nights keeping an eye on the toddler.

“We’re really pleased she’s home for her first Christmas,” said Angie.

“She was here for half an hour last year, but she had to go back to hospital.

“She’s a typical little girl. She loves Peppa Pig and gets upset if we switch it off – she gurgles rather than cries.

“The only thing I miss is her laughing. She can only show she’s happy or finds something funny by smiling.”

There’s more excitement in the New Year for the family – they’re moving to a housing association home in Bathpool.

Friends and supporters have raised thousands of pounds to help make Maddison’s life more comfortable and that’s helped buy a special bed and standing frame to strengthen her legs.

As she gets older, Maddison will need further equipment, such as a wheelchair and a stairlift.

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