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Fundraising starts again for Ava, after US treatment hope
THE parents of a seriously ill young girl are embarking upon their second major fundraising campaign in under a year, after their daughter impressed medics with her response to pioneering treatment undertaken in the US.
Ava Roberts, who will be three next month, suffers from multiple seizures, which have severely limited her development.
When her parents Mark and Judith appealed for help, her plight caught the public imagination and the Faith (For Ava’s Intensive Therapy Hope) campaign hit its £12,000 target in just five months.
Ava, her parents and her sister, Molly, left their home in Nettlesworth, County Durham, in July for Therapies 4 Kids, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Ava underwent four hours of therapy five days a week, using a PediaSuit, which deploys space age technology to stimulate muscle growth.
The trip began with bad news, as medics put Ava’s development at the level of a one-month-old baby.
But she responded to the treatment well and now, having been home two months, she is starting to balance by herself.
Mr and Mrs Roberts, both teachers, were able to buy and bring home a PediaSuit to aid the process.
But now they hope to return to the US next summer for eight weeks’ therapy, for which they need to raise at least £17,000.
Mrs Roberts said: “We’re extremely pleased with how well it went. The amount she’s come on is amazing.
“When we left the doctors said Ava’s prognosis for the future is much brighter.
“But we hope to go back as soon as we’ve raised the money. I don’t know whether we can achieve it.”
The family is ready to put their own money towards the costs, have £1,000 left over from the first appeal and friends have already raised another £100.
Ava was healthy at birth but at two days old she stopped breathing, turned blue and her brain began shutting down.
Medics believe her development has been limited by her epilepsy but, if that could be controlled, she would make great strides forwards.
To support Ava’s treatment, visit facebook.com/foravasintensivetherapyhope2013 To read Mrs Roberts’ blog, visit babyavasmiraclejourney.blogspot.co.uk
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