Little girl who can’t show her mum affection
As mums, we can’t imagine not being able to hug, kiss or communicate love to our little ones. For Rebeccah Cook, 27, this is an everyday struggle that she has to face. Her three-year-old daughter, Melodie, has an extremely rare genetic condition called Phelan McDermid Syndrome which causes her to be unable to understand her mother’s affection. Every time Rebeccah wants to show Melodie affection with a hug or a kiss, she is shoved away or has her hair pulled.
Melodie’s condition means that she is unable to talk and so her sometimes violent reactions to her mum come from frustration as she has no way of communicating with others. Rebeccah finds it hard to understand why Melodie won’t accept her love but it is most likely because Melodie can’t understand it, due to her condition.
It is estimated that Melodie is one of just 1,500 people in the world with Phelan McDermid Syndrome, a genetic condition which causes not only the inability to talk but also accelerated growth and a high tolerance to pain. Melodie also suffers from seizures and is only able to sleep three nights a week due to her condition.
Photo credit: Family handout