Daughter with rare brain condition tells mum ‘I love you’ for first time in 36 years

Daughter with rare brain condition tells mum 'I love you' for first time in 36 years
Pauline Rett, 36, had not been able to communicate with her family in decades (Picture: Dave Evitts / SWNS)

A woman with a rare brain condition has said ‘I love you’ to her mum for the first time after getting a high-tech computer which enables her to speak using her eyes.

Pauline Rett, 36, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, has not been able to talk or move her hands since being diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects brain development, when she was two years old.

However, everything changed when her family saved up to buy a £9,000 computer that converts her eye movements into speech.

The Tobii Dynavox eye tracking technology is a form of Augmentative and Alternative Communication [AAC], that works by showing what Pauline is looking at on a computer screen.

Infared light is reflected onto her eyes which traces whatever symbol or phrase she looks at on the screen.

The machine then converts the information into speech, meaning that Pauline can finally tell her mum she loves her after almost four decades.

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Judith, who cares for her daughter full-time, said: ‘It might sound a small thing but I’ve never heard Pauling speak before.

‘Her first words to me were ‘I love you’ which was wonderful.

‘We can now have jokes and chat which means so much to both of us.’

Judith Worrall with her daughter Pauline from Kidderminster, Worcestershire. A mother unable to communicate with her severely disabled daughter for 32 years has heard her say "I love you" for the first time thanks to pioneering technology. See SWNS story SWMDvoice. Judith Worrall said daughter Pauline lost her speech aged two following a "devastating diagnosis" of Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. Mrs Worrall said the 36-year-old has been increasingly able to communicate through eye-tracking technology. She can now understand her daughter's needs and even share jokes, she added. Mrs Worrall, of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said her daughter began "regressing" as a toddler because of the disorder which can cause profound physical and communication difficulties.
The £9,000 computer converts the young woman’s eye movements into speech (Picture: Dave Evitts / SWNS)
Judith Worrall with her daughter Pauline from Kidderminster, Worcestershire. A mother unable to communicate with her severely disabled daughter for 32 years has heard her say "I love you" for the first time thanks to pioneering technology. See SWNS story SWMDvoice. Judith Worrall said daughter Pauline lost her speech aged two following a "devastating diagnosis" of Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. Mrs Worrall said the 36-year-old has been increasingly able to communicate through eye-tracking technology. She can now understand her daughter's needs and even share jokes, she added. Mrs Worrall, of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said her daughter began "regressing" as a toddler because of the disorder which can cause profound physical and communication difficulties.
Infared light is reflected onto her eyes which traces whatever symbol or phrase she looks at on the screen (Picture: Dave Evitts / SWNS)

The mum says her family felt like they were ‘falling downing a cliff that they didn’t know when they would climb back up again’ when Pauline got her ‘devastating’ diagnosis.

However, she believes her daughter, who uses a wheelchair, was always aware of what was going on as she listened and ‘laughed in all the right places’.

Since getting the new computer, Pauline has told her family that having her condition is ‘hard’ and she often gets ‘frightened and frustrated’.

Judith says things like these are sad to hear, but is happy her daughter can now finally tell her.

She said: ‘The best thing about the computer is when she tells us she loves us and when she calls me mum.

COLLECT - Pauline Worrall from Kidderminster, Worcestershire around the time of her diagnosis with Rhett syndrome. A mother unable to communicate with her severely disabled daughter for 32 years has heard her say "I love you" for the first time thanks to pioneering technology. See SWNS story SWMDvoice. Judith Worrall said daughter Pauline lost her speech aged two following a "devastating diagnosis" of Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. Mrs Worrall said the 36-year-old has been increasingly able to communicate through eye-tracking technology. She can now understand her daughter's needs and even share jokes, she added. Mrs Worrall, of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said her daughter began "regressing" as a toddler because of the disorder which can cause profound physical and communication difficulties.
Pauline around the time of her diagnosis with Rett syndrome (Picture: Worrall Family / SWNS)
Judith Worrall with her daughter Pauline from Kidderminster, Worcestershire. A mother unable to communicate with her severely disabled daughter for 32 years has heard her say "I love you" for the first time thanks to pioneering technology. See SWNS story SWMDvoice. Judith Worrall said daughter Pauline lost her speech aged two following a "devastating diagnosis" of Rett syndrome, a rare neurological disorder. Mrs Worrall said the 36-year-old has been increasingly able to communicate through eye-tracking technology. She can now understand her daughter's needs and even share jokes, she added. Mrs Worrall, of Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said her daughter began "regressing" as a toddler because of the disorder which can cause profound physical and communication difficulties.
Judith says she loves it when Pauline calls her ‘mum’ (Picture: Dave Evitts / SWNS)

‘It’s always been a strong relationship. I have always adored her.

‘But I feel I have more fun with her now.

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‘Sometimes she tells me just how hard having the condition is which is very sad but it’s good she can express that now.’

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