'She is unstoppable': Two-year-old 'Robotot' fitted with titanium ribs to stop her own body from crushing her to death
We live each day like it could be our last, says motherJessie faces regular operations in the future to expand her chest as she grows
A toddler born with a rare form of dwarfism has been fitted with titanium ribs to stop her body from suffocating her.
Jessie Plumpton, two, has Jeunes Thoracic Dystrophy, which has stopped her rib cage from developing properly and puts pressure on her lungs.
The youngster underwent two gruelling seven-hour operations at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to increase the size of her chest. She was then transferred to Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.
Jessie Plumpton who her mother Jane described as 'unstoppable'
During the operation a titanium bar was fitted vertically down the middle of both halves of Jessie's rib cage to pry the ribs apart in both directions. Surgeons have performed the pioneering surgery on around 200 children in the U.S.
Her mother Jane, 27, said: 'The chest expansion was very traumatic because it was a life or death operation.
'She could have died in surgery. As she gets older, she faces further surgery. Her life expectancy is unpredictable.
'We live every day like it could be our last. She is brilliant. She’s just plodded on and fought.
'Jessie has astonished doctors with her strength and resilience.'
Ms Plumpton, from Runcorn in Cheshire, said her daughter was diagnosed with Jeunes in January 2010, when she was two months old. Her older half-sister Jennie Leigh, 9, is not affected.
The genetic condition, which affects around one in 130,000 children, puts Jessie at risk from developing life-threatening respiratory infections and possible kidney failure.
Jessie is still attached to a ventilator to assist her breathing.
'She needs ventilation wherever she goes because her lungs are under-sized, but developmentally she's bright as a button,' said Jane.
Jessie has a form of dwarfism, which stops her rib cage from developing properly
Ms Plumpton currently makes a three-hour round
trip by bus every day to visit Jessie at Alder Hey.
'She has been to hell and back and she’s got through it,' the mother-of-two said.
'She is a little fighter. It’s a dream
come true having Jessie. Doctors are surprised she has made it this far
but I’ve always had faith in her. She is a miracle.
'Nurses say Jessie is a different baby when I walk in the door. Her face lights up. It’s brilliant.'
The toddler faces regular operations in the future to expand her chest further as she grows.
Ms Plumpton recently moved to a bungalow to make it easier to care for her daughter and Jessie should be home shortly after Easter.
The mother said: 'She hasn't been stable enough to come home, but now we've got everything in place for her.
'She is learning to walk and doing brilliantly.
'I am really proud of her. She is unstoppable. It’s the best feeling in the world to have her in your life.'