Meet Matilda Callaghan: The Little Girl Covered in Polka Dots!

Rebecca Callaghan had a tough pregnancy in 2012 because there was too much fluid around her baby, so doctors decided to deliver the baby early.

When Matilda was born, everyone thought she just had a bruise on her face that went down one side of her body. But after 30 minutes, doctors realized it was actually a birthmark.

Two weeks later, Matilda was diagnosed with Sturge Weber syndrome, a rare disease that affects both the skin and the nervous system. It can cause paralysis, learning problems, and seizures.

Matilda got very sick and had to go to the Adler Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, England.

In just a few days, her parents went from being happy to being very worried. They didn’t know if Matilda would survive.


“We couldn’t travel with her as she was so ill. As we stood watching her being taken away, we didn’t know if we were going to see her again. We’d been so excited at our baby’s arrival, now within a matter of hours we didn’t know whether we would even see her alive again,” her father told Daily Mail.


In addition to everything else, Matilda’s parents learned that she had two holes in her heart.

Despite the high chance that she might not survive, Matilda showed incredible strength. She underwent surgery and managed to pull through.


Matilda started getting laser treatment to remove her unique birthmark. However, it could take as long as 16 years for it to completely disappear.

Matilda’s dad, Paul, talked to The Daily Mail in 2016 about her treatment. He said, “She gets treatment every couple of months. The laser makes her birthmark look redder and more irritated, and her face gets covered in spots afterward. But they gradually fade away.”

He also mentioned, “Some people think we’re not good parents and that we somehow made Matilda look the way she does.”


Despite the regular painful laser treatments, Matilda remained a very happy little girl.

Many people stared at Matilda because of her birthmark. Some even asked her parents, Paul and Rebecca, if they had let her get burned near a heater.

Matilda’s dad, Paul, expressed his feelings about this, saying, “People just see her birthmark and quickly make hurtful assumptions. I wish they could look past it and see what a wonderful little girl she is.”

In addition to the birthmark on her face, the disease has caused Matilda to become almost blind.


Matilda faces many challenges; she can’t walk on her own, but she uses a special frame to help her take a few steps.

Her life has been full of struggles, but she greets everyone with a smile. Her dad describes her as very determined – she insists on doing things her own way!

Every day, the family deals with people staring, saying mean things, and even making fun of Matilda.

“Despite everything she’s been through, she always has a smile for everyone. She’s doing really well,” her father said.

“We are incredibly proud of Matilda; she’s just amazing. We cherish every day with her.”


Today, Matilda is 8 years old. In June 2019, her family shared a photo of her in her wheelchair.

They started a crowdfunding page to raise $6,300 for a new wheelchair. The page says, “We are raising funds to get her a new wheelchair so she can keep doing what she loves most: being outside away from roads and crowds.”

The page also mentioned that Matilda’s grandfather passed away recently.


Please help us SHARE Matilda’s story so that more people can help the brave little girl to get the new wheelchair she needs to continue living her life in the best way possible!

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