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Trolls hack Facebook page supporting parents of disabled children

Clare and Mark Smith with daughters, Sofia and Meghan
Clare and Mark Smith with daughters, Sofia and Meghan Image credit: dailypost.co.uk

A Facebook page to help parents with disabled children has been taken down after it was hacked by online thugs.

The Super Sofia’s Story was launched by Clare and Mark Smith during lockdown supporting families bringing up disabled youngsters, the parents were inspired to set up their page after their daughter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two.

Clare, from Flintstone, felt uplifted reading comments from other parents from across the world who used the site, but she was “disheartened” and “distraught” when she and Mark had their admin rights removed.

The distressed mum told North Wales Live: "It's an absolute nightmare, and I can't get any help from Facebook, it's awful.

"I set up the page in July 2020, really to help me as we had to shield due to coronavirus and Sofia learned to walk in lockdown.

"I wanted to inspire other people because I couldn't really find anything like that when I got Sofia's diagnosis.”

Claire explained the family needed to raise funds to cover the cost of her daughter’s treatment, but her plan backfired.

“Because Sofia had recently had surgery, we needed to fundraise for ongoing therapy so we used it to try and raise money too.

"It was going really well until I got a notification saying the account was at risk of being blocked and that I needed to log in.

"I stupidly logged in not thinking anyone could hack a Facebook notification, but then I got an email saying 'you've been removed as admin' and my husband was removed as well.

"They also took off all our email addresses and there was no help from Facebook whatsoever."

She added: "When you look at the admin now, it's people in Indonesia and Serbia. I can still get on the page, but I have no control over it whatsoever.

"I'm just stuck, I've tried Googling what to do but because I've been removed as admin, I can't report it.

"I'm scared because it's got personal information about my daughter and other families in the messages and I'm also worried the hackers could access bank details of people who have donated, you just don't know."

Claire gave birth to Sofia and her identical twin Sienna, but the births were difficult with both girls contacting sepsis.

Siena lost her battle, whilst Sofia spent 102 days in hospital after an MRI scan showed damaged to the right side of her brain.

Despite doctors telling her parents she may never be able to walk or talk Sofia proved the medics wrong, at an early age she managed with a walker and now she can not only walk unaided – she is pretty good at jumping too!

Claire said: “Sofia’s life is not alike a typical child. It involves countless hospital appointments and daily physio that started at seven months old but this has been key to help her brain rewire around the damage...

"But Sofia is the most determined, hardworking little fighter.

"I'm devastated because we had such a lovely support network on the Facebook page and people cheering Sofia on would really help motivate her.

"The thought of having to start up a new one is just soul destroying.

"We just want the page back so we can carry on sharing her inspirational journey."

Claire and Mark Smith also have a two-year-old daughter called Meghan.