A Watford family are trying to turn their daughter’s mysterious medical condition into an opportunity to help others.

Vinay Lalsodagar is raising money for the charity which was a lifeline for he and his wife Nihal while they felt lost supporting their 14-month-old daughter Aliyana through developmental delays.

READ MORE: Watford children having to skip meals due to cost of living crisis

At first, they were told a few missed milestones before Aliyana turned one were nothing to worry about, but as more and more were missed, doctors began looking for a cause. It is still unclear what is causing the 'global development delays'.

Watford Observer:

Vinay said: “We’ve just been constantly going to the doctors and different therapists and scans to try to understand what this question mark is.

“What they homed in on is that she has low muscle tone. Her speech, her core and her vocal cords are affected. But we don’t yet know exactly what that means for her or if she even has that.”

Aliyana herself never lets a condition define her and her parents say they are inspired whenever she smiles and pulls herself up, despite her physical difficulties.

Watford Observer:

Vinay said: “There are days when me and Nihal are crying but Aliyana is just loving life on the floor giggling, but we can’t help but feel sad because we are struggling, feeling hopeless like we just don’t know what to do."

Nihal added: “I think we have learned more from her than she has from us.”

Finding Watford charity Playskill was a gamechanger for the family.

Nihal said: "Coming from a background in the NHS at Watford General I know the importance of early intervention.

Watford Observer:

“After Covid, with the waiting times, complex cases like Aliyana's can get left behind and that’s where services like Playskill are so crucial."

Vinay added: “We meet more mums and dads and create this community. We can hear from other parents who fully understand the gravity of the situation.”

Undeterred, the whole family are always active. Aliyana has experienced activities - including traveling, snowboarding and surfing - that any child would be jealous of.

Watford Observer:

Inspired by his daughter's struggles, and to raise money for Playskill, Vinay will be swimming the 20-kilometre length of England’s largest lake, Lake Windermere.

See the fundraiser here

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