Fundraisers reach halfway stage in bid to help Hyndburn youngster walk unaided (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Fundraisers reach halfway stage in bid to help Hyndburn youngster walk unaided
FUNDRAISERS are more than half way to their goal of helping a five-year-old girl to walk unaided.
Ellie Leathert can take steps with the aid of a walker event though doctors predicted she would never even sit up. Her family and friends have now raised £24,000 out of the £45,000 needed for surgery in America so she can take her first unaided steps.
The campaign to help the Rishton youngster, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is also being backed by Blackburn Rovers star David Dunn. Her mum Justine Wallace a gym instructor at St Mary’s College, Blackburn, has said thank you to the fundraisers and volunteers who helped them reach the halfway mark.
However Ellie still needs the stamp of approval from pioneering surgeons at St Louis Childrens Hospital in America. Specialists in Blackburn are currently compiling Ellie’s brain scans, spinal scans and hip x rays which are to be sent to the US for a preoperative evaluation.
Justine said: “Everyone has been so amazing and I never thought we would have raised so much in just two months. People have been calling us up offering to put on fundraisers and we just get them sending us cheques afterwards.
“I just cannot thank everyone enough. I know we have along way to go but things are going really well.”
Ellie and her twin brother Alfie were born prematurely at 27 weeks, with Ellie weighing just 2lb 6oz and Alfie weighing 2lb 9oz. Like one in three babies born prematurely, Ellie suffers from cerebral palsy, though her twin brother is in good health.
In spite of predictions that Ellie would not be able to sit upright, speak and would have to wear nappies throughout her life, the youngster is thriving on all counts and attending mainstream school.
If Ellie is accepted as a suitable candidate for the operation it would correct involuntary spasms, which prevent her from walking steadily. Justine added: “I do hope, obviously that the doctors in St Louis agree to do the operation. I have quite a lot of confidence that she will be accepted because she is doing so well and her balance gets better all the time.” To support Ellie visit www.facebook.com/pages/The-Ellie-Leathert-Fund