On the day she and her twin sister were born, little Amber was rushed to intensive care for an emergency tracheostomy.
Within moments of birth, doctors performed the live-saving procedure that would make it possible for the tiny girl to breathe.
Unfortunately, the pipe that makes it possible for her to breath made it impossible for her to speak.
The placement of the pipe meant that no air would flow over her vocal cords, which means her family would likely never hear her talk or laugh.
Her parents' main concern was that she wouldn't be able to express herself when it came time for her to go to school.
Thankfully, when she was three years old, doctors fitted her with a Passy-Muir valve. This special valve opens when air is exhaled, allowing breath to pass over the vocal cords.
Although she had the tools to speak, Amber still needed to learn how to use them. For days, Amber continued to use sign language rather than speak.
Then her parents had an idea. When she was two-and-a-half, Amber made a very special connection with a battered donkey named Shocks. Maybe he could help their little girl.
Read about Shock's miracle on Page 2...
Like Amber, Shocks had a tough start to his life. He was found with a rope bound so tightly around his neck that his neck was severely lacerated.
As a result of his horrible abuse, he was terrified of people and very distrustful.
Thankfully, he was rescued by Donkey Sanctuary's Assisted therapy Centre in Birmingham, England.
It was there that he made a very special connection with Amber.
When she was about two-and-a-half, little Amber was still very sickly.
She could barely hold her head up on her own and required constant medical intervention to clean the trachy tube - sometimes 100 times a day.
Amber also had cerebral palsy, which made it difficult for her move. But when she met Shocks, the shy little donkey lowered his head to Amber.
That's when she reached her arms up and wrapped them around his neck. They bonded immediately.
The miracles didn't stop there though, see what happens next on Page 3...
Strengthening Bonds And Bodies
Amber began riding therapy with Shocks and her transformation was incredible. Over time, she developed muscles that lead her to taking her first steps.
Shock's trust and gentle nature with the little girl enabled her to start walking and balancing more and more.
“It was to do with confidence and trust,” says Tracy. “They trusted each other, no words needed to be said, they just got on with it.”
With Amber's incredible improvement physically, her mother dared to hope for one more miracle. One day, while training with Shocks, Amber's mom attached the special valve with a wish in hear heart...
When it came time to say goodbye, little Amber leaned into Shocks fuzzy neck and spoke her first words:
"I love you Shocky."
Amber's mother wept at the sound of hearing her baby's voice.
Amber wasn't the only silent party in this special duo. Shocks had been so traumatized by his abuser that he too had never made a sound since his rescue.
No one at the sanctuary had heard Shocks' bray, a signature sound each donkey makes to announce their presence or request food.
Six months after Amber first spoke, she was admitted to the hospital with a severe infection. She was unable to see her beloved Shocks for two months.
But, on the day she returned to the sanctuary to see sweet Shocks, the gentle donkey was so happy to see her that he let out his first bray!
Amber and Shocks exchanged miracles in those six months, each one healing the other.
Follow Amber's story on Facebook, or order the book online: Amber's Donkey: How a Donkey and a Little Girl Healed Each Other by Julian and Tracy Austwick
[h/t Fuzzfix ]