United front tracks silent menace

From The Australian, 4 April 2009:
THEY are called “silent angels”, little girls with beautiful faces, touched by a random genetic mutation that has rendered them speechless and robbed them of their chance of a normal life.
Meredith Drakes is one of these silent angels. Now 21, she cannot speak or walk, is wheelchair-bound and dependent on her parents. Her only means of communication is her eyes and hands, which her mother, Astrid Drakes, says she puts to good use.
“She communicates things like her gratitude; she leans across, looks at your eyes, pats your arm,” Astrid Drakes says.
At age two, Meredith was diagnosed with a rare and poorly understood condition called Rett syndrome. The diagnosis came only after her worried parents had been bounced from expert to expert, each with their own thoughts on what might be causing Meredith’s strange symptoms and behaviours. Read more.

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