News

Chaotic year for Shontae

September marks three years since 4 year old Shontae Denniss was disagnosed with Rett syndrome.
September marks three years since 4 year old Shontae Denniss was disagnosed with Rett syndrome. Christopher Chan

THE LAST three years have been a rollercoaster of doctors, specialists and therapists.

Shontae Denniss was just a toddler when she was given a life-changing diagnosis in September 2009.

She is living with Rett syndrome, rare debilitating condition which affects her motor and speech skills.

It has been a constant battle for her mother Michelle who said as she gets older, it gets harder.

"This year has been the hardest," she said.

Shontae has begun to have problems with her breathing and spent Christmas day in Hospital after turning blue.

"You get over one hurdle and there is another one to jump," said Michelle.

Unable to speak, Shontae has begun to learn choice cards to communicate.

Michelle will hold up colourful pictures which imply simple notions such as yes or no and Shontae will point at one.

Next month will be her fifth birthday and her family plan to have a big celebration to mark the milestone.

"Every day is a bonus, every birthday is huge."

Michelle is so thankful to the Gladstone community who has rallied together in support over the last three years.

"She changes people somehow," Michelle said.

"It's not easy but she's mine, she is the light of our lives."
 

Topics:  family health rett syndrome


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Dream run points to future star

UNSTOPPABLE: Women's race winner Kate Giddy and men's race winner Matt Slee with Byron Lighthouse Run organiser Lisa Parkes.

Byron runners win Lighthouse Run.

Police confirm tragic death at Fingal Head

File photo.

Police and surf lifesavers have ended a desperate search.

Brunswick Heads sees red over paid parking plans

SEEING RED: Juliana Harmsen and Zac Tooth from Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce hand over the anti-paid parking petition containing 4,500 signatures to Byron Shire Councillor Paul Spooner

Paid parking plans rankle in Brunswick Heads

Local Partners