THE parents of a schoolgirl battling cancer who underwent emergency surgery after collapsing have spoken of their relief following the operation.

Michelle and Garry Simpson said while their five-year-old daughter, Fraja, has had her appendix, part of her bowel and adhesions on blood vessels removed, doctors confirmed the attack of agonising pain she suffered on Sunday had not been caused by a recurrence of her MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.

The couple said they had spent the duration of the five-hour operation fearing Fraja may not survive it or that her cancer had returned.

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The Leeming RAF Community Primary School pupil was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary on Monday after a series of tests at the Friarage Hospital failed to determine the cause of her pain.

Pediatric cancer consultants it said the pain had been caused by a mass of scar tissue on Fraja’s appendix which had mounted since surgery to remove her tumour last year, and that her appendix had become attached to her bowel, a five-inch section of which had died.

They added that Fraja’s blood vessels had lost their protective covering since last summer and “look like a skeleton”.

Mrs Simpson said it had been an immense relief to see her daughter in a stable and comfortable condition in the hospital’s high-dependency unit, albeit with several lines and tubes fitted to her.

Fraja is expected to spend the next ten days recovering in hospital.

She said: “We have been scared out of our minds as we thought we have reached the point where she had relapsed without having raised sufficient money to get the treatment she would need.

“All I have been thinking is how can we go through this again, it has been a rollercoaster of emotions.

“Fraja has slept since the operation, but before she hasn’t spoken for two days as this has brought back memories and she is scared.”

RAF flight sergeant Mr Simpson, who comes from Consett, said the emergency surgery had redoubled the couple’s determination to press on with their drive to raise £500,000 for treatment abroad for Fraja should her cancer return as it remains unavailable on the NHS.

Forthcoming events include a masquerade ball at the Derwent Manor Hotel, Allensford, near Consett, on Saturday, February 15.

The event, tickets for which cost £25, will include a three-course meal, an auction and a disco, and entertainment by Lee Brannigan and The Buskers.

For tickets, call 07858-045875 or email frajaellieappeal@ For details about how to contribute to the fundraising drive, visit facebook. com/ Fraja EllieAppeal