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Brave Martha tackles adversity with a smile

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 15, 2014

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A MUM has told of her pride and admiration for her daughter, who has been tackling adversity since the day she was born.

Not only does 10-year-old Martha Murray have to deal with constant medical issues, caused by cystic fibrosis, but she has also faced real family tragedy, following the sudden death of her beloved dad David last year.

But through it all, she has tried her utmost to remain a happy and positive little girl, inspiring those around her to try to do the same.

“Phenomenal is the word I would use to describe her,” her mum Katja told the Mail.

“She’s not only the bravest child I know, she’s the bravest person.

Martha, who attends Oldfield Hall School, in Uttoxeter, and formerly went to school in Abbots Bromley, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was just four months old, and since then she has had to undergo daily treatment to help her deal with the condition.

Each morning, she takes a huge amount of tablets and other medication, as well as carrying out breathing exercises and enduring massage to move the mucus which builds in her lungs.

Her mum has been trained to do this so she does not have to spend long spells away from home.

All this treatment is before she even gets out of bed.

Along with home treatment, she also has to attend hospital frequently. Staff at the hospital she goes to in Stoke have become ‘like family’, her mum said.

It was during one of these trips, last October, that her dad was taken ill. He started to feel unwell while the pair were watching a film, and was kept in hospital as a precaution. He died later that night because of a problem with his heart.

He also left two other children – Amelia and Sam.

Mrs Murray said: “All the children have been amazing.”

Martha’s condition is incurable, but treatment is improving to help manage the symptoms. The family can only hope the symptoms do not worsen.

The average life expectancy of a person who suffers with cystic fibrosis has risen since she was diagnosed, but it still sits at less than 40 years of age. Martha has known several young people who have sadly died in childhood as a result of the condition.

But she and her family refuse to be kept down by the fact, and aim to live their lives to the full – not focusing on the future.

“Our motto as a family is ‘the glass is always half full’.

“We just keep living, and going on with the medication and everything the doctor says, and we keep our fingers crossed that she has a happy and fulfilling life,” her mum added.

And for now, it seems to be going well.

Despite the difficulties of her condition, Martha loves sports, and throws herself into it as much as she can.

“She always gives the ball a kick,” Mrs Murray said.

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