A mother whose fiancé died suddenly of heart failure at the beginning of the pandemic needs to raise £35,000 to help her four-year-old daughter walk.
Ella and her twin Aaron were born prematurely at 26 weeks and aged two, Ella was diagnosed with diplegic cerebral palsy and uses a walker to get around.
Mum Jennifer Faulds, 45, is hoping her daughter can have Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery in early 2022.
However the family need to raise £35,000 to cover the specialised physiotherapy Ella will need after the operation.
Jennifer recently relocated to Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire where her Mum lives after the sudden death of her fiancé Alex Williams, 47, in May 2020, just before they were to move into their dream family home in Hither Green, London, with their twins.
“Alex had heart problems which were being monitored but his hospital check-up just before he died was cancelled due to Covid,” Jennifer said.
“One day he went round to his old flat which he still owned and never came back. His brother found him dead with the TV still on.
“I realised I would need more support, especially with Ella’s surgery coming up, so once I’d checked that her needs could be catered for here, I cancelled the house purchase and have temporarily moved in with my mother while I look for something to buy.
“People have been incredibly helpful – I recently bought Ella a special trike but it was in Portsmouth and the delivery charges I was being quoted were shocking. But then The Home Removals Company who looked after our move from London to Scotland offered to bring it up for free – even picking it up from Portsmouth.’
“Ella is a typical four-year-old who likes Paw Patrol and PJ Masks and loves putting on shows for us with characters from these programmes.
“She also loves horse riding with Riding for the Disabled. Her brother Aaron is very sweet and gentle with her, bringing her things that she can’t easily get for herself, for example.
“But it is frustrating for her not being able to do everything he is able to do and while she will never be able to do everything he does, the operation and following physio may allow her to walk independently and enable her to do so much more.”
Following the operation Ella will need private physio up to five times a week for at least two years.
The family are being supported by Children’s charity Tree of Hope, which helps families fundraise for children like Ella with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.
Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said: ‘“We are delighted to be supporting Jennifer in her fundraising and wish her and her family all the best.”
To support Ella, please visit the Tree of Hope website.