THE family of a girl who suffered brain damage after falling ill on a family holiday has raised £16,000 for a Lancashire charity that supported them.

Eliza Young, now five-years-old, from Rishton, was just 10 months old when she was rushed to hospital with meningitis, septicaemia and hydrocephalus shortly after the plane touched down in Malta.

The family spent three months in a Maltese hospital where Eliza was cared for before her condition became stable, but she was left with significant brain damage, with the family told she may never open her eyes again.

Lancashire Telegraph: Eliza when she was in the hospital in MaltaEliza when she was in the hospital in Malta

Four years on, Eliza is defying the odds, and even recently walked down the aisle as bridesmaid at her parents’ wedding.

Eliza’s dad Marc is business director at recruitment specialists Zachary Daniels, and the firm decided to mark their 10-year anniversary with a VIP ball, where they raised £32,000 for two charities that helped the family – Derian House Children’s Hospice and Meningitis Now.

Marc, 34, said: “Eliza has come further than we ever imagined.

"When she became ill we were told she would never open her eyes again because of how the brain damage had affected her. But she’s still here, she’s going to school, she’s walking.

“We’re not sure what the future holds, but her smile is amazing and she’s doing better than any professional thought she would.

Lancashire Telegraph: Eliza and her father MarcEliza and her father Marc

“We are eternally grateful to Derian House for the help it has given us - any money we can raise for this phenomenal charity is an honour.”

Eliza’s mum, Amy, 34, thanked Derian House for all the help it gave the family through such a difficult time.

She said: “Eliza is inspiring and strong-willed. For the first couple of years she wasn’t responding to physio as much as we had hoped but in the past 12 months she has really improved.

Lancashire Telegraph: Eliza walking down the aisle at her parents weddingEliza walking down the aisle at her parents wedding

“She had an incredible smile as she walked down the aisle at our wedding – it made everyone’s heart melt and all the guests applauded her in church which she truly deserved.

“We’re just so proud of her progress. It was amazing to celebrate Eliza and show off what she has achieved in the last five years at the charity ball.”