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Former Man Utd star and wife turned personal struggle into much needed support for children’s charity

Photo: Real Stories/ITV

When former England and Manchester United player Phil Neville’s daughter was born prematurely she was given just 24 hours to live.

That would become just the first of many battles that Isabella would fight and win.

Phil’s footballing skills mean he has been able to give his family a life of luxury but away from the public eye, there has been a very different story. One of pain, suffering and fierce determination.

Isabella continues to astound both her parents and doctors Credit: Real Stories/ITV

Isabella was born ten weeks early, weighing just over 3lbs and in a critical condition.

At eighteen months old, she was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects muscle control and movement. Phil and Julie were told that she may never walk or talk.

The moment a child takes their first tentative steps is special for any parent but when Isabella managed it, it was the significant turning point that changed everything for the Neville’s.

“From that moment everything started to fall into place, it changed everything.”

– Julie Neville
Credit: Real Stories/ITV

The family were contacted by The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity to help raise funds to support the hospital where Isabella continued to receive treatment.

Julie was keen to pay back the help they gave her daughter and played a key role in raising £20m for the charity alongside husband Phil.

Tonight we see what impact the fundraising has had on the hospital and how it has helped other parents with children that are born with life threatening conditions.

Watch our online exclusive video clip of Sarah Naismith, Head of Charities for Royal Manchester Children's Hospital Charity:

Tune in toReal Stories with Ranvir Singh on ITV at 7:30pm as we share the story of one famous family’s fight against the medical odds. Let us know your thoughts using #RealStories on social media.

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