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Inspirational Fakenham woman is giving talks on Cerebral Palsy

Joan Latta is hoping to inspire others with her talks
Joan Latta is hoping to inspire others with her talks

An inspirational woman is hoping to galvanise others with her talks on living with cerebral palsy (CP).

Joan Latta defied doctors predictions that she would not live beyond her first year after being starved of oxygen for nearly 30 minutes at birth.

Medics expected that she would be limited in her movement and abilities but Miss Latta’s fighting spirit refused to give in.

The 23-year-old from Fakenham has recently returned from an international speaking tour to Hong Kong after setting up her business Cerebral Palsy, Alive and Kicking.

Miss Latta set up the company after battling through depression and hopes to inspire others with her story.

She said: “I want to educate people about CP. I did get bullied at school and I believe that was down to lack of knowledge.

“I am hoping to inspire others with CP. I want to promote the ethos of never giving up and always fighting.”

Miss Latta was starved of oxygen for 28 minutes as she was born and had no heart beat.

Doctors spent more than an hour trying to establish her breathing.

She said: “Once I had survived the first year, the doctors diagnosed long term brain damage which would affect my every aspect of my daily life. They thought that I wouldn’t be able to go to school like able bodied children.”

But Miss Latta once again defied their predictions and attended school and college in Fakenham. Her fighting spirit helped her through a period of depression after a temporary job came to an end.

She said: “I thought I was hopeless and no use to anyone. But then I had three dreams which were exactly the same of a robin with the use of one wing hopping in front of me. I thought this must mean something.”

She then set up her business at the end of 2013 with help from the Prince’s Trust.

Miss Latta is now a young ambassador for the trust and works and also works on the community engagement programme with the University of East Anglia.

Before Christmas, Miss Latta gave talks at four schools in Hong Kong.

For more information go to www.cerebralpalsyaliveandkicking.com or email: joan@cerebralpalsyaliveandkicking.com

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