A FATHER is going to every length to ensure that his eight-year-old daughter has the best chance at a normal life.

Sophie Highland, from Bury, nearly died at birth due to a placental abruption.

She was left with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy as a result of oxygen starvation.

The disorder affects most aspects of Sophie’s day-to-day life, including the mobility in her arms and legs, as well as her speech.

However, the determined Heaton Park Primary School pupil has astounded her family and doctors with her progress, and has now been accepted onto an international clinical trial to receive stem cell treatment.

Dad Mike Highland, who is Sophie’s full-time carer, said: “We were told when they first diagnosed Sophie that she would never really do much other than smile at us.

“Cerebral palsy affects pretty much everything for Sophie physically; she can make noises but she cannot talk. Life is really difficult for her on a day to day basis. She cannot feed herself or get herself a drink.

“She is like any child; she wants to be up and playing but she is on her chair or with me. She gets frustrated because she wants to join in.”

Sophie has been supported by her very large family, which includes her sister Katie, six step-sisters and a step-brother.

Her intelligence and progress have been recognised by Swiss Medica, who have invited her to receive experimental and exploratory stem cell treatment at their clinic in Moscow, Russia.

Her family, of Keswick Drive, have been saving for the trip and have managed to raise enough money for her to travel with her dad and grandmother and stay near the clinic for the duration of the week-long treatment.

Now Mr Highland, who gave up his full-time job as a deputy manager when Sophie was born, has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise £6,450 — the cost of the treatment, which begins on October 12.

He said: “Sophie is my entire life and she deserves every little thing we can do for her.

“She has astounded us and her doctors with her attitude and determination. She has made great efforts to stand, she plays with her sisters and shouts noises for her communication and shows signs of intelligence, so much so that she attends a mainstream school.

"While there is no guarantee of success, there is a chance this could make Sophie’s life easier by improving her walking and talking, so we have to try.”

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/sophiehighland.