A SERIOUSLY ill youngster is to undergo potentially life-changing treatment in Slovakia after her supporters smashed their fundraising target in just weeks.

Ava Roberts is only now starting to crawl and roll at the age of three, as multiple seizures she has suffered since she was two days old have severely hampered her development.

Last month, she was offered the chance of two weeks’ intensive treatment designed to stimulate her muscle growth at the Adeli Medical Centre, in Piestany, Slovakia, starting later this month.

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Having already raised £2,500, her parents Mark and Judith Roberts needed to find a further £3,000 to fund the care.

But in just a month they have raised a staggering £4,000, meaning the couple, Ava and her sister Molly will travel to Europe next week.

Mrs Roberts, of Nettlesworth, County Durham, said: “I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who’s helped.

“I couldn’t have done it without them. I’ve had complete strangers offering to help.”

The money was raised through raffles, stunts and sponsored events.

So much has been donated the family has already started a fund for a return visit to Slovakia. Mrs Roberts hopes Ava will travel for treatment up to twice a year.

Last year, the family raised £12,000 in just five months to pay for Ava to undergo similar care in Florida, USA; but they later discovered the Slovakian option, which comes at a fraction of the cost.

Mrs Roberts said Ava was doing “quite well” and she hopes the treatment will allow her to sit unaided for the first time.

“We’re feeling positive. We bought an Upsee harness, which allows her to walk with you.

“Her seizures seem to have come under control somewhat. Things are looking a bit more positive for her.

“I’ve got all my fingers and toes crossed. It would be amazing if she could sit up.”

A charity ball is planned for Durham County Cricket Ground on Saturday, November 15 to mark Ava’s fourth birthday and a family friend is doing a sponsored back and chest wax this Friday (July 11).

For more information, visit facebook.com/foravasintensivetherapyhope2013 or babyavasmiraclejourney.blogspot.co.uk