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Little girl born with no right forearm given a doll just like her

Dolly is a firm favorite with the tot and her parents couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate their daughter's differences.

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Little Remi Blackburn with and Dolly. (Sarah Blackburn via SWNS)

By Holly Mei-Yu Stafford via SWNS

Meet the little girl who was born with no right forearm and has a doll to match - crafted by her doting grandma.

Little Remi Blackburn, one, was born without a right forearm after the limb didn't grow in the womb.

Her family calls it Remi's bubble and prefer to "celebrate rather than commiserate" her differences.

Because of this, her grandmother, Toni, 57, from Reading, Berkshire, England knitted Remi a doll with an identical shorter arm in November 2021 - just in time for Christmas.

Remi and her doll - nicknamed Dolly - are the best of friends and she "takes her everywhere."

"It's been great to see Remi have a toy that represents her," said mom Sarah Blackburn, 29, a medical care assistant.

"It's bespoke and very special as there's not a lot on the market here in the UK.

"Dolly comes with us to the supermarket, park and even her brother, Rory, likes to play with her-of course, that's when Remi lets him."

Sarah was told at her 20-week scan, at Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, that her baby would be born without a right forearm as it hadn't fully grown in the womb.

Remi Blackburn's doll Dolly.(Sarah Blackburn via SWNS)
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Initially fraught with worry, Sarah and her husband, Jack Blackburn, 31, a gas engineer, found the news of their baby's limb difference difficult to process.

''We'd struggled when trying for Rory, so to have Remi naturally and so soon afterwards was just a dream come true," Sarah said.

''But after being told she would have a disability at the scan we felt so worried, we didn't know what it would mean for her life.

"I knew that there was something wrong when the sonographer went quiet.

"She couldn't tell us what was wrong and she rushed and got another medical professional to take a look at the scan.

"It was then that they told us Remi was quite small and missing her right forearm.

"My heart dropped and Jack pressed his hands to his face and turned to the wall.

"It's one of those moments that you'll never forget.

"When we came out of the scan I burst into tears as we were so overwhelmed with it all.

"The whole car journey home I couldn't help but think 'was it something I did?'

"Jack kept reassuring me that it was my mind getting the better of me but I could tell that he was just as shaken up as me."

Like many parents in this situation, Sarah and Jack turned to Google for research.

"Our searches didn't give us much guidance as to what caused Remi's limb difference," she said.

"We were met with a lot of articles citing 'pregnancy stress' and 'extreme parental responsibilities.'

"This send my mind into overdrive as I kept thinking I'd been working too much or lifting Rory too much but how could I stop doing either of those things?

"When we told the family the news, of course, they were sad for us as it's not something that you're prepared for going into pregnancy but they were so supportive.

"And, even though we had an initial shock, we always knew that she was going to be ours no matter what."

After an easy birth, on April 29, 2021 at 9:39 A.M., Remi was born at Royal Berkshire Hospital, weighing 6 lb and 3 oz.

But despite all their worries, once their daughter arrived, they felt at peace to finally have baby they'd so eagerly anticipated.

Sarah and Jack were advised by doctors that Remi's limb difference wouldn't make any difference to her development.

"Remi cried, slept, smiled and wanted to be held just like Rory when he was her age,'' Sarah said.

"There's never been a point when Jack or I have been worried about her growth or development.

''It was a relief to feel like she was just a normal baby, which she is."

When Remi was eight months old, her grandmother, Toni - Jack's mom - tailored a shop-bought doll to resemble her grandchild's limb difference as Sarah was unable to find limb different toys in the UK.

Dolly is a firm favorite with the tot and the couple couldn't imagine a better way to celebrate their daughter's differences.

"We'd been wanting to get her a toy that matched her limb difference for a while but all the dolls were from the US and they were never available,'' Sarah said.

"That's when Jack's mum, Toni, thought of getting a standard doll from Argos and sowing the right arm up.

"She got given in at Christmas and hasn't put it down since.

"Whilst is incredible sweet for Remi to have, I do wish there was more diversity in toys for babies and children."

Sarah has since set up an Instagram page to raise awareness for limb difference and document Remi's early years.

"I've received quite a few messages from parents asking about Remi and sharing their own experiences,'' she said.

"It's like a little community and a pocket of the internet dedicated to Remi - and Rory of course, he loves to get in the pictures too."

Happy and healthy, little Remi continues to shine on and offline.

"She's incredibly strong-willed and loves to dance, her current favorite is 'Wheels On The Bus'," Sarah said.

"However, she won't be the baby for long as we're expecting another little one in February of next year.

"I know that our new arrival will be just as amazing as Remi and all three of them, four including Dolly, will have a whale of a time"

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