28 April 2016
What Would Be Your Miracle
In this brand new series Emma Willis follows the inspirational
and emotional stories of people whose lives are transformed by the
power of modern medicine, people who are all hoping for
In each episode, Emma meets two people having incredible
operations in the hope of changing their lives and those of their
families forever. Over two years, Emma charts the progress of
these ordinary families going through extraordinary
Having had their operations and, in some cases, endured months
and months of rehabilitation, they reach the moment they find out
if the miracle they've dreamed of for years will happen. From
parents watching their 10-year-old child try to take his very first
unaided steps, to a daughter hearing her dad's voice through her
new cochlear implants and a woman seeing after 30 years of
blindness, these are the incredible, climactic moments when they
realise that life could be changing forever.
And now thanks to modern medicine, it's possible to fulfil their
dreams. From scoring a goal in front of thousands of football fans,
to taking a class at the Royal Ballet School to flying through the
sky, in this heart-warming series, experiences which, for them,
were previously impossible, become a reality.
In episode one, Emma is in Aberdare, South Wales, to meet
nine-year-old Garin Morgan, his parents Ashley and Adele, and big
Despite being a strong, healthy baby, Garin soon began to show
signs that he was different to other children. At the age of two he
was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and his parents were told it
meant their son would never walk.
Dad Ashley says:"That hit me very hard. How do you feel? How do
you cope? You start running through his life in fast-forward. How's
he going to get a job? How's it going to affect his life as an
Garin tells Emma:"At playtime it is quite hard for me. Sometimes
some of my friends play football. I feel quite upset because
they're all having fun and I'm just like on my own and nobody to
Asked by Emma what his miracle would be, Garin says:"To play
In the same week Garin was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, his
mum Adele fell ill and was told she had multiple sclerosis, meaning
she too is in a wheelchair and unable to walk unaided. It's another
reason his parents are longing for him to leave his wheelchair
For years, Garin and his parents have hoped that modern medicine
would offer him the chance of making his dreams come true, and now,
thanks to surgery pioneered in America, there's a possibility it
Just two months after a successful operation at Bristol Royal
Hospital for Children, in which nerves that connect Garin's brain
to his legs were cut, and the subsequent physiotherapy, this young
boy's life could be about to change forever. As he prepares to step
from his wheelchair and walk unaided for the very first time his
family and specialist team urge him forward.
Nearly a year later Emma catches up with the family, and there's
a surprise visit to Cardiff City Stadium for Garin, who has the
chance to fulfil his dream of playing football and scoring a
Also in episode one, Emma meets 55-year-old Andrea Dodds, a
mother-of-two from Burnley, who has always had a close relationship
with her mother June.
As June says: "Andrea was a lovely little girl, jovial, bubbly.
Me and her, we've the same sense of humour. We could fall on the
floor laughing at things."
Diagnosed as partially deaf as a child, Andrea used hearing
aids, but as she got older her hearing got much worse and she came
to rely on lip-reading.
However, on a family trip to the seaside Andrea became concerned
there was also something wrong with her eyes. She was then
diagnosed with Usher Syndrome and told that as well as being deaf
she was also going blind.
Today, Andrea can no longer see well enough to read lips, and as
her condition means that what hearing she does have is fading all
the time, her hearing aids are now nearly completely useless.
Currently there is no cure for Andrea's eyesight, but she is
about to be thrown a lifeline and undergo an operation to be fitted
with a cochlear implant, in the hope that it will allow her to
Andrea says:"I could be in total silence and it's terrifying to
think that everything's going to be cut off from you. If suddenly
you can't see or hear anything, it scares me to death…I don't want
to be like this, I hate it. That's why I've got to take this
chance, it's got to work."
Implanted behind Andrea's ear, the coin-sized device, when
switched on, will feed sound directly to her brain, though with no
guarantee she will instantly be able to hear.
Andrea say: "I'm hoping it's going to give me something back of
my old life. If I can join in again with conversation, with family,
with friends, then that would be my miracle."
Undergoing the procedure at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Andrea
returns one month later where the implant is switched on for the
first time. However, Andrea's brain is unable to understand the
sounds the implant is sending it.
She says:"Oh my god, what is this? I can't tell you what it
sounds like. Oh my god, my voice. I can't make a single word out.
My own voice sounds weird. Oh god, oh god, I don't like this, I
don't like it. It sounds so weird."
All Andrea can do is wait in the hope that with practice her
brain learns to make sense of the sounds.
Emma says:"It was so sad to see how much it knocked her and how
it wasn't what she wanted to hear. But you can only hope that this
will work for her because this is her last chance, this is it for
Six weeks later Andrea returns to see how her brain is managing
the implant. Because Andrea loved music so much when she was
younger, Deborah the Audiologist wants to see if she is now able to
hear it again.
One of her favourite songs -(There's) Always Something There To
Remind Me- is played, leading to a nervous wait to tell if Andrea
is able to hear it once again. Thankfully, it's not long before her
face lights up and she begins to smile.
Garin pictured with
presenter Emma Willis
BACK TO NEWS